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Fired MUA worker settles for $387G
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Fired MUA worker settles for $387G

Monday, May 16, 2011
By TERRENCE T. McDONALD
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

The Jersey City City Council has authorized a payment of $387,500 to a former Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority employee who was fired six years ago. The payment settles a lawsuit she filed against the MUA and the city.

Jennifer Bloom, the former MUA director of administration, attempted in 2004 and 2005 to inform MUA commissioners and staff about financial irregularities at the authority, according to the complaint

In response, commissioners "engaged in a number of retaliatory actions" - which included ignoring her complaints of sexual harassment by a top MUA official and attorney - before terminating her in July 2005, the complaint states.

Bloom sued MUA and city officials, including Mayor Jerramiah Healy, then-Business Administrator Brian O'Reilly, and Housing, Economic Development and Commerce Director Carl Czaplicki for $500,000.

According to the resolution passed by the council last Wednesday, Bloom received $250,000 in a settlement with MUA and will receive an additional $137,500 from the city.

In addition to its own $250,000 settlement, MUA is picking up $50,000 of the city's claim, according to the resolution.

The City Council adopted the resolution in a 7-1-1 vote. Councilman Steven Fulop voted no, arguing the city shouldn't be involved since the MUA is an autonomous agency, and Councilman Bill Gaughan abstained since his daughter is an MUA commissioner.

MUA Executive Director Dan Becht declined to comment, saying he was not an employee of the authority when Bloom was terminated.

Gayle Loftis, Bloom's attorney, also declined to comment.

Posted on: 2011/5/16 13:52
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Re: Administration's Unprofessional Conduct Costs Taxpayers Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars
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Is this TAX PAYERS money or money from some kind of professional liability kind of insurances..?

Posted on: 2011/5/12 21:34
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Re: Administration's Unprofessional Conduct Costs Taxpayers Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars
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.

(side note if you didn't catch it...)

This is from a piece back when a vote was being taken about the MUA employees paying more towards their health benefits. Look see who the Healy appointed MUA chairwomen is?..Hmmm?


"It is absolutely shameful in a time when the lowest level city employees were laid off, they grant health benefits to politically connected cronies that the taxpayers fund," Fulop said.

"Most of the City Council and administration clearly do not understand how they are hurting the regular taxpayers."But Eileen Gaughan, chairwoman of the MUA, disagreed with Fulop and said commissioners are on call 24 hours a day to serve the public.

"Despite what Councilman Fulop is leading the public to believe, the hours that are put in during the meetings are just the tip of the iceberg as far as being commissioners and serving the public," she said.


*****
Go Steve!

Posted on: 2011/5/12 17:20
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Re: Administration's Unprofessional Conduct Costs Taxpayers Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars
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Don't blame the whistle blower, who paid the price for doing her job. Without the lawsuit being filed, the allegations and the details would have remained under wraps. The settlement does nothing really to cover up a clear need to independently audit the MUA. A criminal investigation should be opened up as well against all the involved parties.

This would be a great case for Paul Fishman to investigate, as it reflects yet another serious example of fleecing JC residents through the use of 'autonomous' agencies.

Posted on: 2011/5/12 16:22
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Administration's Unprofessional Conduct Costs Taxpayers Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars
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Sickening story, in and of itself, but what is really interesting is the second to last paragraph. The City's Corporation Counsel lays out the blueprint as to how you, too can take the city for a couple hundred thousand dollars (maybe more): if you name enough people in your lawsuit (in this case, 28) and make them prominent enough the city will say it's too costly to hire all the lawyers to defend them. The City would rather pay you $300,000 to go away. I wonder sometimes, if city government were abolished tomorrow - what kinds of jobs would these people ever be able to get?

****************************************

Jersey City Settles Former MUA Official?s Civil Suit Against Mayor Healy & 27 Others
By Matt Hunger ? May 12th, 2011 ? Category: Blog, News, Politics


Jersey City has settled an eight-count civil suit brought by Jennifer Bloom, the former Director of Administration and Financial Management for the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) for $87,500, with the MUA itself kicking in another $50,000 in settlement money. (The MUA has already separately settled with Bloom for $250,000.)

Bloom?s suit, which was filed in 2006, names a whopping 28 defendants, ranging from the MUA?s Board of Commissioners to Mayor Jerramiah Healy and several other high-ranking city officials, and alleges wrongdoing ranging from sexual and emotional harassment to violations of The Conscientious Employee Protection Act.

Rest of story: http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... st-mayor-healy-27-others/

Posted on: 2011/5/12 14:42
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