After nearly 2 years of paid leave, Hoboken church asks for fire chief to be reinstated


The All Saints Episcopal Church has penned a letter to Mayor Ravi Bhalla and the Hoboken City Council asking for Fire Chief Brian Crimmins to be reinstated after being on paid leave since May 2021, citing his volunteer efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hoboken Fire Chief Brian Crimmins being sworn in on October 15th, 2018. Photo via City of Hoboken Twitter.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“We understand that Chief Crimmins was placed on paid administrative leave nearly two years ago and that the matter remains unresolved. During his leave – which has overlapped with a global health and safety crisis – he has not only continued to serve All Saints, but the region at large,” Rev. Dr. Elaine Ellis Thomas wrote on behalf of the parish on February 9th.

“In 2020, Chief Crimmins served on a committee to establish COVID-19 protocols for the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, involving 92 parishes across northern New Jersey. This committee convened weekly for months to write life-saving protocols, protecting the health and welfare of more than 21,000 faithful Episcopalians and their neighbors.”

The letter continues that Crimmins has also assisted with doctoral research, as well as detailing the Mile Square City’s history of fire and arson victims, helping build up the public programs started to remember those lives lost.

Crimmins, sworn in as October 2018, was placed on administrative leave on May 18th, 2021, the same day that Kenneth Ferrante announced he’d be retiring as police chief, as HCV first reported.

Battalion Fire Chief Anton Peskens has served as acting chief ever since.

In April, Ferrante returned to the public safety director, at the same time when Police Chief Steven Aguiar received a $29,000 raise.

This was to the dismay of Council members Tiffanie Fisher and Ruben Ramos, who noted at the time that the salaries of public safety leadership equaled $1,118,487.

“Our clergy and members of this congregation have contributed in countless ways to make Hoboken a great place to live. We support one another not simply as our faith compels us to do, but because we genuinely love and care for one another,” the letter continued.

“Chief Crimmins is a valued member of this community, and we hope to see his employment matters settled expeditiously, with transparency and in good faith, so that he can return to the work to which he has devoted his life: protecting the people of Hoboken.”

In response, recently hired public safety spokeswoman Marci Rubin stated that the city does not comment on personnel matters.

City officials have never publicly explained why Crimmins was placed on leave and neither side has yet initiated legal action to try and resolve it, public court dockets show.

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  1. So the City hired a public safety spokesperson for the purpose of saying “no comment” when asked questions. Maybe it’s time for the Council to demand a taxpayer paid spokesperson too. Or better yet, each councilperson. After all, Hoboken taxes are still too low. Hoboken should and probably will have the highest taxes in the state so the mayor can brag about another Hoboken first.

  2. OMG…for a city 1 mile square over $1M for 2 public officials is outrageous…hiw corrupt is this place? And the guy is on “paid administrative leave” with no explanation S to why?

  3. When you have the top job in Hoboken City Hall with diamond studded benefits a another side job doing who knows what, your wife works and your father buys you a brownstone to do 500K addition you don’t worry about taxes.