Ex-Bayonne worker who filed ‘sexting’ suit against Davis questions benefits of a fired employee


A former Bayonne City Hall worker who has a pending “sexting” lawsuit against Mayor Jimmy Davis questioned why a terminated employee continued to receive benefits.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Upon reading the benefits sheet, upon which all necessary information was redacted, as I know that is correct, I came across a termination of benefits. It is stated her benefits were terminated on January 31st, 2022,” Stacie Percella, a former Bayonne deputy registrar, said at last week’s city council meeting.

“Yet, her payroll records and information … [show] she no longer received a paycheck as of 8/8/20. As she refused to come out of her office and speak to a resident and take question regarding this OPRA, the residents pay all of your salaries and this how we are treated?”

Percella has been in litigation with the city since early 2018, and while the case, which alleges that Davis abused his office by offering a $150,000 settlement in an unrelated lawsuit for her in exchange for a sexual relationship, was dismissed in 2020, the appellate court reinstated it last year.

Furthermore, a judge ruled in December that Davis and other city officials will be deposed in the case.

Percella, who also said at the meeting that she’d be challenging 3rd Ward Councilman Gary La Pelusa, a Davis running mate, for his seat continued to press Law Director Jay Coffey about what happened.

“She still received benefits for two years: Can you answer me that?,” she asked.

“Nothing to answer here, no,” Coffey replied.

“Why not? We’re residents of this salary. We pay your salary, we paid benefits. Why did I waste my pennies on her benefits for two years, Jay, when she did not work here,” Percella shot back.

“There may be extenuating circumstances,” said Coffey.

A copy of a disciplinary sheet sent to the employee in question, sent by Assistant City Attorney Donna Russo on February 9th, obtained by HCV said the worker was fired after a drug test proved she was under the influence at work.

“On 8/13/20, while on duty in your Clerk 1 position, there was reasonable suspicion to believe that you were under the influence while at work. Preliminary testing results confirmed a positive finding for controlled dangerous substances,” the final notice of disciplinary action says.

“Final testing results confirmed the presence of controlled dangerous substances by a certified drug testing laboratory. You failed/refused to complete/ cooperate with EAP, refused to participate/complete rehab program and checked out of the rehab facility against professional advice.”

Percella also accused Coffey of sending her “a threatening letter” in response to her OPRA request, to which he replied that it was “a very standard letter” sent when un-redacted information is released by mistake.

After continuing to demand an answer, Coffey said the city could recoup the money if need be.

“If in fact, what you’re saying it true, we will deal with it. We can claw back that money.”

Percella also called on Coffey and Russo to resign, claiming they’d likely get arrested if they didn’t.

“Resign because you’re gonna get bracelets on and you’re not gonna like that. Not at all. Have a good night.”

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