A local watchdog organization’s complaint against Jersey City officials receiving multiple paychecks from taxpayer funded jobs has expanded to include the city’s business administrator.
In a letter sent out to the Hudson Reporter, CivicJC called out City Council members and the Fulop administration for practicing “double dipping,” a practice Fulop opposed in his 2008 run as city councilman.
What is already known is that John Metro serves as the acting business administrator for the city at an annual salary of $190,000, while receiving a second income of $8,783 as a secretary to the insurance fund for the city. In addition, he is on the payroll as an aide to the county Board of Commissioners receiving $7,450 as reported by the Hudson Reporter.
But what is new here?
Through financial disclosures and documents obtained in a series of OPRA requests, the Hudson Reporter has learned Metro was also receiving funds from the city’s Board of Education prior to starting his position as the city’s business administrator.
A letter provided by the school board designated Metro as the treasurer of school monies effective April 24, 2019. He was appointed as the city’s business administrator with the backing of eight council members on Dec. 18, 2019.
“Clearly we are overpaying him to be the business administrator for Jersey City if he has time to do five other jobs,” said Esther Wintner, who is the current president of Local Civic Group, a local watchdog group.
The Hudson Reporter reached out to John Metro for comment, but no response has been forthcoming.
In 2020, Metro made an annual income of $15,769.08 from the county, while working to maintain city hall’s finances. From the school board, for a period of three years, he made a grand total of $47,662.42. The OPRA request also revealed through New Jersey’s Local Finance Board that Metro worked in two different departments under the Office of Risk Management and the Board of Commissioners, both on the county level.
As of 2022, he received an annual salary of $15,702.69, listed under the payroll as an “aide to the commissioner” and “secretary/insfraud.” The Hudson Reporter has reached out to the Office of the Hudson County Executive for clarity on the roles and responsibilities and will include a response in this story if one is received.
Last year, Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione, the mayor’s press secretary, told the Hudson Reporter through an email that “the mayor still believes that working for the city should be the primary job for everyone employed there, but that is not always possible and the mayor does not control that legally,” meaning double dipping.
The Hudson Reporter also reached out to the mayor’s press secretary to ask if the administration knew John Metro was working as the school board treasurer prior to hiring him as the city’s business administrator; no comment has been provided so far.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Jordan Coll can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.