State Commission of Investigation has put 4 Hudson County municipalities under fire for fiscal waste

State Commission of Investigation has put 4 Hudson County municipalities under fire for fiscal waste
December 03, 2009 Jersey Journal

Four Hudson County municipalities - Harrison, Hoboken, Union City and West New York - got smacked in the State Commission of Investigation report on fiscal waste in municipal government that was released Tuesday.

Harrison took the biggest hit, with more than a half-dozen examples of spending and employee perks the report considers excessive - including the $241,851 paid to former Administrative Clerk/Deputy Municipal Clerk Marion Borek when she retired after 61 years with the town, the bulk of it for 881 days of accumulated unused sick leave.

Hoboken's highlight includes former Police Chief Carmen LaBruno's much-maligned retirement package of $350,000 - $125,000 in accrued unused vacation leave, $150,000 in terminal leave and $75,000 in unused accumulated compensatory time for. LaBruno's final salary as police chief was $210,794.

Harrison Mayor Raymond McDonough and town Attorney Paul Zarbetski did not return calls for comment on the report.

West New York town attorney Daniel E. Horgan said officials there "found any number of things that could be and should be corrected, and we have been doing that as we go along," noting, "some of these things still reside in labor contracts that were made during the prior administrations."

Similarly, Union City Mayor Brian P. Stack said the holiday shopping day "was negotiated as part of a contract by a previous administration." He said Union City is in the process of renegotiating the municipal contract to put an end to the practice.

But Vince Lombardi, president of the Hoboken Policemen's Benevolent Association, called the report "skewed and biased."

"What it (the report) fails to mention," Lombardi said, "is how they came to receive those entitlements." 

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