Ex-HCCC VP lawsuit about questionable contractor billing, construction bid settled for $250k


A lawsuit filed by a former Hudson County Community College vice president of administrative services about at least one instance of questionable contractor billing and construction vendor selection was settled for $250,000, public records show.

Photo via mastconstruction.com.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Thomas Brodowski received $65,004.72 for alleged “emotional distress” and another $65,004.72 for lost wages, while the remaining $119,990.56 went to his attorney, Kevin Costello, according to a copy of the August 4th, 2021 agreement.

The lawsuit, initially filed in Hudson County Superior Court on June 13th, 2016, are fairly specific. While the suit was rejected on summary judgment in 2018, the appellate court restored it in January 2021.

For one, he claimed that ex-college employee Joseph Torturelli deviated from a contract with a custodial contractor, without consent from counsel, billing HCCC per square foot and charging for supplies – instead of billing per hour and paying for supplies out of pocket.

An audit found that the school had been “substantially overbilled,” the appellate court said, with Torturelli ultimately taking an extended leave before resigning in June 2015.

The second significant allegation involves Little Falls-based MAST Construction, who built the North Hudson branch of the college in Union City at a cost of about $40 million, according to their website.

Brodowksi, through the court filing, says that MAST was not the lowest bidder for the job, but were still selected due to the insistence of then-HCCC President Dr. Glen Gabbert and HCCC Board Chair William Netchert.

He also points out that the MAST Construction President Ted Domuracki sat on the college’s architectural advisory committee.

As is the case with most settlement agreements, none of the allegations have been proven or disproven, and there is also a non-disparagement clause that says neither party may make public derogatory comments about the other in the media or elsewhere.

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