Angel Alicea, the former director who filed separate discrimination lawsuits against the city and Mayor Dawn Zimmer following his resignation in April 2011, had withdrawn his damages claim after he was awarded $440,000 in back pay and agreed to settle with the city.
But after the council voted to reject the settlement by a 5-2 vote, the damages claim will go to court. The amount of the settlement has remained secret thus far.
Two weeks ago, a jury sided with Alicea in his suit against the city, but found Zimmer personally innocent of any wrongdoing. Alicea had sued the city because he said he was racially abused as a Hispanic male, while Zimmer has stated she asked for his resignation because he lied about meeting with Solomon Dwek, a federal informant at the center of the Bid Rig sting investigation.
Louis Zayas, Alicea’s lawyer in the case, told NJ.com that he found it odd for the council to reject the settlement, as council approval is “almost a formality.”
"I was surprised," he told NJ.com. "For them to come back and say they're not going to accept it, it's unusual, but that's the choice that the city of Hoboken has made, and they're going to have to live with consequences."
Council President Peter Cunningham did not return a call for comment on the vote. – Dean DeChiaro