Jersey City CFO fired: says she refused to falsify records, Fulop says work performance was poor

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The City of Jersey City’s chief financial officer was fired on Tuesday and she says in a letter to Mayor Steven Fulop and the city council it was because she refused to falsify records, though Fulop says her termination was due to poor work performance.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The letter, which was dated yesterday, has Lubna Muneer allege that she was terminated by Jersey City Finance Director John Metro after insisting that the 2019 financial statement could not be submitted without a bank reconciliation statement, as NJ Globe first reported.

“According to law, this is an unfair and unethical practice” Muneer wrote. “Please don’t forget 2018 bank reconciliations were completed in November 2019. It was an ongoing issue in accounts and control before I joined this municipality.”

Hired in July at an annual salary of $65,919 according to public records, she also claims she informed Metro that submitted an incomplete financial state to the state Department of Local Government Services “is against the law and professional ethics.”

Despite the bold allegations, Fulop told HCV this morning that Muneer’s claims had no merit and that the city had documented her history of not performing her job duties.

“The facts are that she was terminated for poor performance that was documented over a long period of time,” the mayor said.

“At no point did she make any accusations of any wrongdoing while she worked here. However, if she does have anything to substantiate her claims we urge her to provide them to us and we will submit them to law enforcement or she should submit them directly herself.”

Additionally, Councilman-at-Large Rolando Lavarro, a potential Fulop challenger in 2021, called for the city council to investigate the claims of impropriety, pointing to recent allegations of corruption at the Jersey City Employment and Training Program and the Recreation Department.

“Recently we’ve seen charges of embezzlement at JCETP and the no show jobs at the Department of Recreation. We cannot turn a blind eye to allegations of false reporting of the City’s finances, especially in light of our school funding crisis,” Lavarro said, who noted that he called for JCETP to be investigated prior to Sudhan Thomas being charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“Ms. Muneer’s revelations appear very serious on face-value. The council should be judicious and vigilant and fully investigate the allegations, so that all the facts can come to light, and any improprieties be rectified.”

 

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with a comment from Councilman-at-Large Rolando Lavarro.