Bayonne BA Mathews resigns instead of taking her prior clerk position at City Hall


Bayonne Business Administrator Melissa Mathews resigned today instead of taking her prior clerk position at City Hall, she wrote in a letter to Mayor Jimmy Davis.

Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis and outgoing Business Administrator Melissa Mathews in October 2019, prior to her appointment. Facebook photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“This letter mischaracterizes a demotion to Clerk I as being a return from a ‘leave of absence’ to such position. This is not only incorrect but downright offensive, and it is taken as one final retaliatory transgression in a long line of unlawful misconduct toward me by you and the law department,” she said in the letter.

“Therefore, I am formally rejecting the demotion to Clerk I and I hereby tender my resignation as Business Administrator of the City of Bayonne under duress on this date, June 30, 2022.”

On Monday, Davis told Mathews via a letter that she would not be reappointed as BA for his third term, citing a state statute that says her appointment expires at the end of each term.

While Mathews had the option to return to her previous gig as a Clerk 1 for the Division of Planning and Zoning, she thought better of it. As BA, she earned a $135,000 a year annual salary, while her Clerk I post paid just $30,000, according to public records.

In reply, Davis said in another letter this afternoon said that Mathews was not removed, simply not appointed to the new term, and that her resignation has been accepted.

This letter shall serve to confirm that I accept your resignation from the Director’s position effective as of June 30, 2022. This letter shall serve to further confirm that you have declined to return to your Clerk I position in the Planning and Zoning Department.

“Consistent with your expressed intention not to return to that position, the City accepts your voluntary resignation from your Clerk I position and with it your employment with the City of Bayonne,” he wrote.

“Accordingly, your employment with the City of Bayonne voluntarily ends by way of your resignation from employment effective June 30, 2022. Consistent with City policy, you will be paid out any accrued vacation in the next payroll and will separately be advised of rights you may have under COBRA to continue benefits.”

Mathews, a former board of education candidate, took over as business administrator on May 1st, 2020, recognized as the first woman to ever hold the post.

However, less than a year later she filed a gender discrimination suit that claimed abuse of of public office allegations were ignored by other officials at City Hall.

The case is still pending and few developments have occurred thus far, outside of three defendants getting dismissed by a Hudson County Superior Court judge last summer.

Mathews declined to comment beyond what was in the letter.

Her replacement will be named at tomorrow’s noon reorganization meeting, the first meeting of the new city council which will now see Jacqueline Weimmer representing the 2nd Ward and Loyad Booker serving as the first Black councilman.

He won an at-large seat in the May 10th municipal elections, where Davis won his third term, staving off a challenge from former political ally and now outgoing Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski.


Editor’s note: This story was updated to include additional information from a reply letter from Mayor Jimmy Davis. 

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