Hoboken to vote on $85k settlement for vendor who got 2-year deal from ex-director


The Hoboken City Council will vote on an $85,000 settlement for a vendor who allegedly received a two-year deal from a former director who is accused of doing so without approval from the administration or city council.

Former Hoboken Health and Human Services Director Leo Pellegrini. Screenshot via Facebook Live.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

” … GovPilot was a vendor that the Department of Health & Human Services was utilizing for an online Dog Registration platform (there was also some discussion of expanding to include other licensing services),” a memo from Hoboken Assistant Corporation Counsel Alyssa Wells obtained by HCV says.

“Former Director Pellegrini signed a five (5) year agreement for these services on or about February 22, 2021, and based upon that agreement, GovPilot performed services for approximately two (2) years, until the services were shut off due to non- payment on or about December 2022.”

The memo continues that Pellegrini did not receive approval before entering into the five-year deal and the invoices could not be processed by the purchasing department since they do not offer purchase orders without issuing proof of resolution.

GovPilot sued the city last month claiming they’re owed $266,640 in unpaid invoices, as only HCV reported, and the aforementioned memo says the settlement is for $85,000 since it would cover the first two years of the contract ($79,992) “plus an additional amount.”

“In consideration for this settlement, GovPilot has agreed to allow the City to continue utilizing the service for the remainder of 2023 and to export its data. The contract will be considered cancelled, however, so that the City will not remain responsible for any fees beyond December 31, 2023.”

A copy of the resolution on Wednesday’s agenda indicates that the council will be considering a settlement with GovPilot, though does not list any material details at this time.

An inquiry seeking comment was forwarded to Wells, who reiterated that the city does not discuss litigation or personnel matters.

Leo Pellegrini, who was the head of the health and human services department for 14 years, resigned abruptly on May 3rd with no explanation or comment from the city, though former Mayor Dawn Zimmer – who hired him – praised him for his service.

At the council meeting that evening, a $20,000 emergency contract with Lowenstein Sandler LLP, the law firm that employs the first New Jersey Comptroller Matthew Boxer, to investigate the circumstances of Pellegrini’s departure.

As the city searches for a new director, Pellegrini’s former responsibilities have been divvied up among three people.

Health Officer Nancy Tarantino is serving as the head of the Division of Health, Supervisor of Senior Citizen Activities Tom Foley is the head of Senior Services, and Cultural Affairs Administrator Geri Fallo is running the Division of Cultural Affairs.

The Hoboken City Council will convene on Wednesday at 7 p.m., with the meeting streaming live on the city’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

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  1. Trying to understand how these kickbacks work. If you don’t kick up to the mayor’s office then the contract gets rescinded/ deemed inert and you lose your job? Remember, at a minimum, it’s “10% the for the Big Guy.”

    Thankfully, the Jackie and Ravi weed shop is safe.

  2. To me it seems like Bhalla wanted Pellegrino gone and was looking for a reason. Pelligrini is also on the Hoboken Cannabis Board and had publicly disagreed with a few licenses. Bhalla now gets to appoint another to the HCB.

    • Oh, that’s actually sound reasoning. I’m sure Fulop (and his wife) are all over Ravi to make sure they get their weed shop and all the money sure to come from it. Maybe Ravi can put Emily on HCB? She will def do as told.

  3. Heard that one of the reasons he resigned is that the mayor wants to blame him for the lack of new summer recreation programs especially anything for teens to do in summer through Hoboken Recreation, not to mention the years of signup mistakes as numerous parents have pointed out. But parents have been asking the mayor to fix this for 8-9 years now so he can’t say Oops I didn’t know this was happening and its all Lous fault. He has 3-4 staff in his own office who could have helped fix the signup program years ago. I hope at the council meeting today the council addresses Recreation Zero and passes resolution’s to ask the city to finally start adding new summer rec for Teens and also find out why a year after Jessica Lezano was hired she has not added a single summer arts program for recreation. Hudson County View, find out why not one has been added to keep our teens busy. What happened to the promises? This is a good time to get rid of Recreation Zero and make our council people who are supposed to represent all income levels a recreation hero. Instead they hope the rich people will leave in summer. What about the rest of the community especially many of us who have more then one teen in our family now. Don’t pin this on Lou, he already knew you were going to try and wasn’t having it. Jessica has been here a year and the city has run out of excuses for why they only have a few summer programs and Recreation ZERO for teens. Why not interview Jessica and see exactly what she is planning that is different from last year. This would be a great story for this time of year lets go!