Serving in his capacity as the director of the Jersey City Department of Public Works, Michael Razzoli violated the city’s tuition reimbursement policy when he took classes at Rutgers University, according to various documents obtained through Open Public Records Act requests via a letter to Mayor Steven Fulop and the city council.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Razzoli, who reportedly stepped down as the DPW Director last week, per The Jersey Journal, wrongfully received tuition reimbursement since he did not meet the requirement put forth in city Executive Order 2010-003.
The order states that “to be eligible (1) an employee must be employed by the City for twenty-four months (two years) (2) prior approval from the Business Administrator is required (3) and an employee must submit receipts and proof of successful completion of the course or program of study before reimbursement can be made to an employee.”
Razzoli was only a city employee for approximately three months when he enrolled in the classes, which cost $4,098 (one bill for $2,212 from August 13, 2013 and another for $1,886 from December 10, 2013). In addition, Business Administrator Robert Kakoleski did not approve reimbursement for either of the bills.
A big supporter of Mayor Steven Fulop during last year’s May election against then-Mayor Jerramiah Healy, Razzoli was enrolled in the Certified Public Works Program at Rutgers and made a salary of $114,753 last year.
Three checks issued from the City of Jersey City to Rutgers University from September 11, 2013, January 15, 2014 and March 26, 2014 indicate that the city covered the tuition costs.
Classes were held from either 8:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. or 12:30 p.m. through 4 p.m. While the days the classes were scheduled for are not listed on the Rutgers invoices submitted to the city of Jersey City, they indicate Razzoli took 22 total sessions at the school between September 5, 2013 and May 27, 2014.
The OPRA requests were submitted by Jersey City resident Barbara Camacho over a four-month period, who submitted the responses to various local media outlets.
Razzoli first came under fire in November of last year, as a Jersey Journal story questioned whether his full-time residence was in Sayreville or low- and middle-income apartment complex in Jersey City.
City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill did not return an email seeking comment on the subject.