Wharton


Lawsuit Breakdown: AG vs. Stevens

As extensive and as thorough of a breakdown between the two lawsuits between the Attorney General and Stevens Institute of Technology as you’ll find anywhere courtesy of Professor Wharton as he published earlier, hope he doesn’t mind be re-publishing his stuff here.

I haven’t read both the suits yet but I figure if Wharton has summarized it this well, there is very little chance that I’ll have more to add on it. Read this well and educate yourself.

The sources can be found at the bottom of the post.

Executive Summary

The State of NJ through the Attorney General is charging that Hal and Babbio acted outside of their responsibilities as president and Board members (Babbio being chair and Hal serving on the Board as well). The AG questions the legality of the BoT creating selective, if not secretive committees under the BoT and they’re not complying to inform the full BoT of the financial issues of the college and the compensations and benefits package packages of Hal Reveche. These benefits include an excessive salary for Hal (done under illegal practices, through a special committee and against the college’s bylaws) and low interest loans, car allowances and other benefits. In addition, that the Endowment, scholarships and other funds were misused and misapplied for unrelated finances and that the accounting books were “mismanaged.”

Synopsis:

-That Hal has expansive powers as president and voting member of the Board of Trustees (conflict of interests concerns), but this was due to the BoT agreeing to expand his powers and that he’s served as member of financially related committees for the college and that he exercised further control over subcommittees related to employee related matters, including professors (ah, somewhat unusual for a college prez btw)

-That Babbio as chairman of the BoT allowed under his watch for the BoT and its committees to engage in misconduct, including their failing to inform and disclose to the Board his and the president’s actions. Among these actions included “aggressively” expanding and modifying the college’s research activities, curricula and interfere in student body and faculty concerns. Among these, the Stevens Growth Plan which the president and the chairman “violated” donors and the Board’s spending restrictions. This was, against the “scope” of their powers.

(more…)


The Mess That Is Hoboken 3

This has been quite a mess in Hoboken of a first month by Mayor Peter Cammarano where 33% of our last 3 mayors have NOT been arrested by the FBI – a pretty fascinating statistic courtesy of http://www.hoboken.org/ and probably a telling sign of the state of the cities in New Jersey.

Take a look at the portion of an e-mail that I have quoted below which shows Hoboken Revolt vehemently trying to educate their followers about laws in place regarding situations like this in Hoboken and in New Jersey:

If he (Cammarano) doesn’t resign and he has to take a leave of absence to attend to a personal matter, he can appoint an interim Mayor. That interim can be any one of his Directors or the Council President. At the moment, he has two approved Directors – John Pope and James Farina. Under the Faulkner Act, he has the right to appoint his Directors on a temporary 30 day basis that he can renew ever 30 days. Getting approval from the Council on his Director choices is really just ceremony.

Therefore, he can appoint Terry LaBruno, Angel Alicea, Todd Poole, etc. today if he wanted to so that he can appoint one of them Mayor should he decide to take a leave of absence. We would not be able to recall a newly appointed Mayor for the first year of his/her term as Mayor.

I wasn’t too familiar with The Faulkner Act and even when I tried to look it up a couple of places it seemed a little vague. So I went to the one person I knew would be able to tell me about it — Professor Wharton at Stevens. If there is something you want to know on politics, he’s your guy at Stevens. He even wrote a chapter once upon a time regarding the Washington Nationals and the role politics has played and plagued with that franchise.

He replied in an e-mail to me saying that the Act was originally enacted decades ago (in 1950) to allow for more flexibility for the public to participate in open elections and establish effective local governance (at least ideally) of former or at least notoriously corrupt or problematic local NJ municipalities, including just about every city in Hudson County.

He went on to say that the mayor can and probably will stay in office right now because technically and legally he’s not guilty – yet.

As far as appointing the director mayor, he went on to say that it is rare but can happen when a mayor is away from office:

… that’s rare but can happen when the mayor is away at times for a day or a week at a time; it’s more symbolic than substance (the same thing takes place when the Gov leaves for a day or two and an official, like the Senate president takes over or now that we’ll have a Lt Gov after January). Also, keep in mind Hoboken is still under the auspices of Judy Trapodi – the state appointed monitor for finances so home rule remain a concern as to who can “adjust” or change things. In reality, the mayor has little control on everything, without Trapodi’s input and the city council’s.

I can’t wait to get back on campus in Hoboken in less than a month and take another Wharton class. In the meantime, e-mails will do and hopefully this shed some light on the ever evolving mess that is the Mayor’s office in Hoboken.