HUD reviewing legal billing practices of the Union City Housing Authority

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is reviewing the billing practices of the Union City Housing Authority after allegations were made that board attorney Julio Morejon was overbilling, but Morejon says he has nothing to worry about since all of his work for the board has been proper. 

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Morejon came under scrutiny last month as the result of a News 12 Kane In Your Corner report, where UCHA Chairman Martin “Marty” Martinetti alleged that Morejon had been paid far more than what his contract permitted last year.

During their meeting one week ago, Hudson County View asked if the situation had been resolved.

Martinetti previously argued that Morejon’s contract called for an annual salary of $24,000, along with $20,000 in additional hourly billing.

Morejon had no problem speaking with Hudson County View to defend his position on the matter, saying that he “welcomed” HUD reviewing his work with the UCHA since everything was done appropriately.

A copy of Morejon’s contract does call for an annual salary of $24,000, with “legal fees including costs and expenses, pursuant to this Agreement, shall not exceed $20,000, unless said amount is increased by resolution of the local authority.”

In addition to his annual salary, the contract calls for Morejon to be paid $145 per hour for legal services, as well as $125 per hour for eviction-related matters.

Additionally, Morejon said there was nothing improper about him earning somewhere in the neighborhood of $98,000 with the UCHA last year.

A copy of Morejon’s latest contract can be read here.

9 COMMENTS

  1. John, I wish to clarify something you stated in your report. I was paid in excess of $98,000, which included legal fees and reimbursement for costs. Cost items included, court filing fees postage for certified mailing and copy charges. A significant portion of the legal payments for contract year 2014, included a seven day trial involving the North Hudson Sewer Authority, which amounted to nearly $15,000 in fees and costs, and a trial and Appellate filing totaling approximatley $10,000 in fees and costs. All of these items were itimized in legal billing invoices provided to the Housing Authority and the Board. Thank you for allowing me to include these comments as a clarificaiton to your report, as they help the viewer/reader understand the entire billing process.

  2. John, I am very confused. Is Mr. Morejon is insinuating that his opinion of a cap is that there is no cap at all? I am also confused as to why Mr. Morejon states that the board can fix this problem by way of resolution? John, why would the board have to vote on a retroactive resolution to adjust the cap if Mr. Morejone was in compliance? Can you pls. clarify his statements?

  3. I’m not an attorney so I’m having some difficulty understanding Mr. Morejon’s position. There appears to be no issue with the $24K figure but the contract which flashes on screen shows a cap of $20K for additional work; if Morejon billed $98K ($54K BEYOND the cap) why wouldn’t it have to be approved by board resolution? He seems to acknowledge that board approval is required once his billing exceeds the $44K shown in the contract. If all his additional work is justified why not submit it to the board for approval? The contract terms seem straightforward to me but Mr. Morejon sounds like Clinton saying that it depends on the meaning of “is”. Ahhhh, Hudson County at it’s best!!!!

  4. This guy is so full of crap! How can he justify taking money from the poor to fill his own pockets? I hear that HUD’s Inspector General along with The FBI has visited several people involved with this scandal, including several board members. I hear that a Federal Grand Jury has been convened to look into The Housing Authority’s bidding practices along with Mr. Morejon’s excessive billing. He should just change his name to MOJON!

  5. Were does this guy come off thinking $24, 000.,$20,000. makes $98,000. He is only off by $54,000. Then they think they could insult everyone’s intelligence by saying added fee’s to the tune of $54,000. There is a reason for a cap.

  6. Just had a thought-Morejon next Hudson County prosecutor! That would resolve the UC Housing Authority’s problems, let the county deal with him and his over billing. Good riddance!!!!!

  7. Cops are corrupted in union city they raid drug dealers house and if they find big stacks of money they keep some to themselvez And some drugs too

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