At least 3 more JC DPW employees disobeyed tuition reimbursement policy, records show

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At least three other employees, two with management positions, in the Jersey City DPW also violated the city’s tuition reimbursement policy.

Rutgers University, where Jersey City DPW workers took classes. (Photo: Wikimedia)
Rutgers University, where Jersey City DPW workers took classes. (Photo: Wikimedia)

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

In a follow-up to a story on Hudson County View about Department of Public Works Director Michael Razzoli, at least two other employees with management positions in the Jersey City DPW also violated the city’s tuition reimbursement policy, according to documents obtained via OPRA requests and addressed to Mayor Steven Fulop and the City Council in a formal letter.

Bhavini Doshi, confidential aide, and James Madden, deputy director, both work in the Office of Director for salaries of about $60,000 and $70,000, respectively, according to public records. Like Razzoli, Doshi and Madden also violated Executive Order 2010-003.

The parameters of the order can be read word-for-word in the previous story about Razzoli.

Madden was enrolled in the same curriculum as Razzoli – the Certified Public Works Manager Program. He took six classes at Rutgers University between August 13, 2013 and December 10, 2013 for a total cost of $4,098.

As previously noted in our initial piece, these classes were held between the hours of either 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. or 12:30 p.m.  and 4:00 p.m.

Doshi was enrolled in the Public Purchasing Program at Rutgers University, completing Principles of Public Purchasing I, which cost $951 and began on March 5 of this year, as well as Principles of Public Purchasing II, which cost $979 and began on May 7 – according to invoices sent to the city from Rutgers University.

None of the classes Doshi attended were during business hours.

Razzoli’s aide, Yesenia Rivera, was enrolled in similar courses to Doshi, though Executive Order 2010-003 does not apply to her since she is not a member of management. However, according to city policy, Razzoli was required to request approval from Business Administrator Robert Kakoleski since she was going to miss more than two days at the office. 

Rivera attended eight sessions of Municipal Finance Administration for Public Purchasing Personnel during January and February of 2014, held between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Furthermore, none of the the three aforementioned employees worked for the city of Jersey City for the required two years before enrolling in Rutgers University programs: they were each employed somewhere in the time-frame of three to six months before registering for classes.

According to a source within the Jersey City DPW who spoke under the condition of anonymity, employees were not made aware that the classes were available. The classes are seen as essential to many employees for professional development.

Doshi, a former associate attorney with DeCotiis, FitzPatrick & Cole, LLP, also served as an evaluator of the controversial RFP that awarded Jersey City’s ambulance contract to CarePoint/McCabe over Jersey City Medical Center, per The Jersey Journal.

Doshi ranked Jersey City Medical Center over CarePoint/McCabe.

Razzoli did not immediately return a call, or a message, to his office seeking comment while city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill did not return an email seeking comment.

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