Hoboken’s Bhalla to earn $60k, revenue for new referrals at of counsel job

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Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla will earn an annual salary of $60,000 for his new of counsel position, with the ability to earn up to “20 percent of all gross revenue paid by clients in excess of $60,000 up to $750,000″ for referrals, as well as 15 percent for over $750,000, according to a copy of his contract. 

Ravi Bhalla

By John Heinis/Hudson County View
copy of the agreement, which was released by the mayor’s office, between Bhalla and the high-powered law firm Lavery, Selvaggi, Abromitis & Cohen, D.C., dated February 16th, says that the Hoboken mayor will focus on providing “advisory services in the firm,” particularly “mentoring young attorneys.”

Specifically, the deal says Bhalla will be compensated at $60,000 a year without any benefits or a 401k option, though the firm offers to cover documented expenses that are “reasonable and related” to the of counsel position.

Additionally, if the Mile Square City Mayor refers new clients to the firm, he will receive “20 percent of all gross revenue paid by clients in excess of $60,000 up to $750,000,” while no additional compensation will be offered for the first $60,000 in revenue.

For new clients that generate over $750,000 in revenue, Bhalla will earn a 15 percent commission.

The contract does not state anything about capping his earning potential for referrals.

Also of note, the contract says the firm, which has offices in Morristown and Hackettstown, will be in communication with Hoboken Corporation Counsel Brian Aloia “identify and address” any potential conflicts of interest.

“These limited engagements in no way interfere with my full-time commitment to the City of Hoboken. I am often the first one to arrive in the office and the last one to leave. I assure you that will not change,” Bhalla said in a statement.

“I know it takes a full time Mayor to secure $1 million of state funding for transportation projects—a significant upgrade over previous years. It takes a full time Mayor to upgrade Madison St. Park and successfully crack down on those bars that flout our laws and harm our quality of life. It takes a full time Mayor to ensure that the City garnered a AA+ bond rating. And it takes a full time Mayor to win the battle against the Christie Administration on Union Dry Dock. These are just some of the accomplishments of my first 6 weeks in office.

“While I am proud of what we have accomplished in 6 short weeks, we could get so much more done with a Council that worked cooperatively with me to move Hoboken forward. It is now more than 3 months since the November election. It is time to put it behind us and work for the best interests of the City we all love. I know if we do so, Hoboken’s best days are yet to come.”

Bhalla also cited the recent $1 million grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation, an AA+ bond rating for the city and fighting the Gov. Chris Christie (R) administration on the Union Dry Dock proposal as early political victories since he took office.

On Wednesday, the Hoboken City Council passed a measure by a vote of 7-2 asking Bhalla to answer 26 questions about his new employment.

1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco, an outspoken political nemesis of Bhalla, says the deal speaks volumes.

“This letter shows that exactly what we feared about Mayor Bhalla’s second job is true, that its real purpose is not to mentor young lawyers, but about developing new business for a politically-connected law firm and being highly compensated for it,” DeFusco said in a text message.

“It also makes it clear that the only arbiter of whether or not this second job creates a conflict of interest will be Hoboken’s Corporation Counsel, someone who donated to Mayor Bhalla’s campaign and serves at his pleasure. That is not the kind of oversight the residents of Hoboken deserve — it’s the ethical Wild West.”

DeFusco also called on Bhalla to answer all 26 questions asked of him by the council.

24 COMMENTS

  1. So he’d make quite a bit of dough if lets say… Uh SUEZ moved to his new right wing firm?
    “For new clients that generate over $750,000 in revenue, Bhalla will earn a 15 percent commission.”

    Not to mention Brian Aoila is going to work on conflicts? He gave Bhalla about 1000 in donations

  2. Another whopper… the term limited involvement used by his campaign manager really means unlimited upside on commissions. So let us get this straight, because there is a contract and the terms used are “client referrals” we can believe the transactions are not “selling influence”? Wow, “reasonable and related expense” are also included. On contracts this can involve a lot of fine dining, entertainment and even travel expenses – car, hotel, incidentals. Not shabby self-dealing for a candidate who promised to quit his job and dedicate himself 100% to being a full time Mayor.

  3. Ravi is going to be incentivized to be more focused on drumming up business than working for the city
    Making 750k is going to be far more tempting than dealing with sinking Washington St

    • Since you’re a mathwiz, can you tell us how much new business Ravi would have to originate to earn $750,000 in a year? It’s actually a grade school math problem so if you’re struggling ask a child to help you.

  4. A lot of people are criticizing Ravi for being a liar and calling him Ravi Cammarano. I’m sure Lindalou & Dawn Zimmer, Doyle and crazy Syb will explain how this outrageous money scam is good government and Ravi’s lying is a-ok. We’re all waiting. This massive corruption scam wasn’t cooked up overnight.

  5. While Nancy is scooping you by writing about the recipient list of Amer’s embarrassing e-mail. Sad.

  6. Most sleazy lawyers chase ambulances
    Most sleazy politicians chase sleazy lawyers
    It’s just our luck we got a two for one with Ravi

  7. Ravi and Stawn has a history of generating legal work
    Just ask Perry Belfiore, David Liebler, Carmelo Garcia and Angel Alicea

    It’s no wonder these Republican Lawyers and Ravi hit it off so well!

  8. Ravi and Stawn have a history of generating legal work
    Just ask Perry Belfiore, David Liebler, Carmelo Garcia and Angel Alicea

    It’s no wonder these Republican Lawyers and Ravi hit it off so well!

  9. This deal is a sales contract. Why is an outside NJ law firm offering Ravi such a lucrative part time deal? Is Ravi such a super lawyer that he can fetch such a kingly sum with no cap or are they buying access to the Hoboken contracts gravy train? I see the latter as the most viable of the two.

    This agreeement is a blatant break in a campaign promise as well as the worst example to follow as far as good governance is concerned. This deal is like putting a Contracts for Sale sign outside City Hall. I am relieved that I did not vote for this blatant corruption. The election is over of course and now we get to see the results of monetary ambition unchecked by any sense of propriety when ethics are of concern.

    Ravi needs to pick a job and stick with it. Either Mayor or a lawyer hustling for government contracts. The conflicts in doing both are apparent to me as a layperson. I believe a mechanism needs to be put in place to stop this up to a recall.

  10. Even Get Alife is beginning to get nervous about the the Mayor’s hunger for cash:

    “What would alleviate the inevitable political obstruction? If the mayor waives the part of the contract where he gets a piece of new business and just takes the base salary of $60K. If he does this, I think it would disarm his enemies, and make his friends a lot more comfortable. ”

    This is almost touchingly pathetic. Don’t you get it Nancy? It’s never going to happen! You and the friends have the choice of getting ‘comfortable’ with Mayor Bhalla’s Ravi-nous appetite or just staying uncomfortable.

    When it comes to cash Ravi is a Glutton.

    • Get a life Roman. You are obsessed with GA. She can whatever she wants. At least she writes coherently. Past time you respected other people’s First Amendment rights you phony.

      • Nancy got paid by Bhalla… Lets see the work Nancy, come on gal… you are so good at marketing. Strut your stuff gal!

      • Read the MSV feature today and it devastated Ravi Bhalla’s narrative. Ravi Bhalla responded with new lies today claiming he has no other job. Desperation is clearly setting in.

        Nancy you should go back to your dungeon and come up with some better lies than the limp crap you tried against Peter Cunningham. He got the political texts like many. It’s out for everyone to see.

        Ravi’s PHAT law $$$$$ deal is the big story. You can’t throw mud at people and shoot the messenger to make it go away. Go text Shadow and come up with some better propaganda.

        The people telling the truth aren’t the “enemies” of anyone let alone Ravi. Ravi’s enemy is the truth which anyone can discover for themselves reading the first sentence of his PHAT law deal contract.

        Anything in there about a job?

          • Boy insurance premiums in flood prone houses is high enough in Hoboken
            Can’t imagine what other coverage one would need but heard that policies in Hoboken are higher thanks to people like Mason

          • Nancy, he’s not going to buy you any twinkles no matter how many people you attack here wishing it’s him.

            All that lying you do for Ravi and attacking good people serving Hoboken isn’t making you any friends.

            Lucky for you the cats don’t mind and no one pays you any mind. Go back to your cave and defend Ravi’s ravenous law firm deal! Someone has to do it and you’re the only person who will blame someone else for his signing that insider law firm deal.

  11. “services will be provided only as and when you have availability” 🙂 What a conundrum! This agreement and compensation creates an intractable conflict – there is no confusion about it, as Bhalla states. And the only thing that is being taken advantage of are the good people of Hoboken.

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