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Settlement of Town Clerk Cali Lawsuit


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In December a lawsuit filed by Cali was settled, with the town's insurance carrier remitting a payment to Cali.

Kearny Mayor Al Santos declined to discuss specifics of the settlement, saying the agreement carried a confidentiality clause.

Santos chalked up the controversy to continuing bad blood between D'Arco and Cali.

"I think the only people who would raise (the issue) are the former clerk and the people with whom she speaks," Santos said, "I'd be more concerned about the tax dollars than the politics between the clerk's office and Mr. D'Arco's office."

I've heard that the settlement was in excess of $210,000; but that's OK because the insurance carrier remitted the payment? Why, because it was a negligence suit or some other type of suit?

A settlement of this amount warrants notice and shouldn’t be so easily dismissed by the Mayor. What was the cause of the suit and how can such occurrences be prevented in the future; how does the town avoid future mistakes of this type? This is the dialogue that should be pursued by the Governing Body; and not discharged so cavalierly by the Mayor.

210,000 people plus have the right to raise the issue if they so desire. One other question should be addressed, was any taxpayer money involved in the settlement of the suit? How much did the lawsuit cost the town to defend in court, what were the costs associated with this case?

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I've heard that the settlement was in excess of $210,000; but that's OK because the insurance carrier remitted the payment? Why, because it was a negligence suit or some other type of suit?

A settlement of this amount warrants notice and shouldn’t be so easily dismissed by the Mayor. What was the cause of the suit and how can such occurrences be prevented in the future; how does the town avoid future mistakes of this type? This is the dialogue that should be pursued by the Governing Body; and not discharged so cavalierly by the Mayor.

210,000 people plus have the right to raise the issue if they so desire. One other question should be addressed, was any taxpayer money involved in the settlement of the suit? How much did the lawsuit cost the town to defend in court, what were the costs associated with this case?

do a search on this website. it was discussed as it unfolded.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Jane Anderson
even if insurance paid the Bill arnt you smart enough to know next time insurance will be higher priced !

It's not your house's insurance policy! It's an insurance policy on a town with over 400 employees. Unless it's a million dollar claim, one claim alone means nothing. Any company with that number of employees has claims filed against it on a regular basis.

Hmm. What's your real reason for trying to exagerate the impact of a settlement for one particular ex-employee?

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It's not your house's insurance policy! It's an insurance policy on a town with over 400 employees. Unless it's a million dollar claim, one claim alone means nothing. Any company with that number of employees has claims filed against it on a regular basis.

Hmm. What's your real reason for trying to exagerate the impact of a settlement for one particular ex-employee?

Proper management would certainly reduce the amount of claims.

Problem, it is not only one claim. Firefighter, Clerk, Firefighter, Firefighter, Policeman, etc......

Rates are based on claim useage. Claims do mean something in the rate the Joint Insurance Fund charges the Town. It is not just the amount of the settlement that has an impact. The amount of Legal Fees is also a factor. I heard one settlement with legal fees cost in excess of 700,000.

Membership in the Joint Insurance Fund is paid with tax dollars. Submit an OPRA request to the Joint Insurance Fund for all legal fees incurred by the Town for the past eight years.

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Guest Jane Anderson
Proper management would certainly reduce the amount of claims.

Problem, it is not only one claim. Firefighter, Clerk, Firefighter, Firefighter, Policeman, etc......

Rates are based on claim useage. Claims do mean something in the rate the Joint Insurance Fund charges the Town. It is not just the amount of the settlement that has an impact. The amount of Legal Fees is also a factor. I heard one settlement with legal fees cost in excess of 700,000.

Membership in the Joint Insurance Fund is paid with tax dollars. Submit an OPRA request to the Joint Insurance Fund for all legal fees incurred by the Town for the past eight years.

Now you're trying to create Mount Everest out of a single ex-employee molehill. If there were other large claims, wouldn't they be splattered on this board and appear in local newspapers? (My guess, it'd be on this board in a Kearny minute.)

Legal fees of $700,000?? Not even F. Lee Bailey representing O.J. That's nothing short of delusional.

You're trying to stir it up, but there isn't anything to stir. One unhappy ex-employee is not a story.

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Guest Are u kidding?
It's not your house's insurance policy! It's an insurance policy on a town with over 400 employees. Unless it's a million dollar claim, one claim alone means nothing. Any company with that number of employees has claims filed against it on a regular basis.

Hmm. What's your real reason for trying to exagerate the impact of a settlement for one particular ex-employee?

Insurance companies, all insurance companies, are in it to make money, whether they insure individuals, businesses or municipalities. You can absolutely, positively bet that a settlement of over $200,000.00 will generate a larger premium next year! Keep in mind that the "clerk lawsuit" is not the only one the town has had to contend with---there is still at least one other heavy-duty suit pending. If my guess is correct, this one will be another big payout.

What or who is the common denominator in both these instances? Who is the provocateur in these cases? Hmmm? I don't see elected officials in that role since it would be bad public relations.

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Guest Jane Anderson
Insurance companies, all insurance companies, are in it to make money, whether they insure individuals, businesses or municipalities. You can absolutely, positively bet that a settlement of over $200,000.00 will generate a larger premium next year! Keep in mind that the "clerk lawsuit" is not the only one the town has had to contend with---there is still at least one other heavy-duty suit pending. If my guess is correct, this one will be another big payout.

What or who is the common denominator in both these instances? Who is the provocateur in these cases? Hmmm? I don't see elected officials in that role since it would be bad public relations.

All you've posted is innuendo and unfounded assumptions!

Fact: Insurance market is competitive; cities have to quote their coverage every year. Kearny's premium did not go up this year!

Fact: One claim on an insurance account that covers over 400 employees and over a dozen public buildings and literally hundreds of miles of road does not change your premium! (By the way, I hear the ex-employee wound up with just $20,000 after lawyers and expenses; even if $200,000 is right, it's a blip on the screen). And what other claims are there? I'll repeat myself, if they were there you'd have read about them already. This is the only one I read about in the last 5 years. If you know facts, then post them, not innuendo.

Fact: The common denominator sounds like an employee or other individual trying to enrich themselves at the cost of the taxpayer. You know, the ones who slip on a sidewalk and sue for soft tissue injury. Or an employee trying to get back at his boss. That's a sad way to live.

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Now you're trying to create Mount Everest out of a single ex-employee molehill. If there were other large claims, wouldn't they be splattered on this board and appear in local newspapers? (My guess, it'd be on this board in a Kearny minute.)

Legal fees of $700,000?? Not even F. Lee Bailey representing O.J. That's nothing short of delusional.

You're trying to stir it up, but there isn't anything to stir. One unhappy ex-employee is not a story.

Read slow:

"one settlement with legal fees cost in excess of 700,000"

nothing delusional about it!

"One unhappy ex-employee"

Should you choose to count unhappy employee's under this administration, past and present, the numbers are in the hundreds. Can everyone be wrong?

"single ex-employee molehill"

With at least a half dozen employee lawsuits, settlement and legal costs, rates will surely rise.

"If there were other large claims, wouldn't they be splattered on this board and appear in local newspapers"

This administration never discloses the amount of the settlements.

The resolutions authorizing the settlements with the town no longer state the amounts.

Without it when was the vote taken to authorize the amount? (In closed session?) Cannot vote in closed session.

Maybe the newspapers should be contacted to OPRA the Joint Insurance Fund for information and it then could be "splattered on this board and in local newspapers" Great Idea!!

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Guest Jane Anderson

Despite your name, you have no Facts. Instead, you have innuendo and hearsay. Facts are WHO, WHAT, WHEN and HOW MUCH.

And, one more time, not even F. Lee Bailey billed O.J. $700,000. That is delusional.

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All you've posted is innuendo and unfounded assumptions!

Fact: Insurance market is competitive; cities have to quote their coverage every year. Kearny's premium did not go up this year!

Fact: One claim on an insurance account that covers over 400 employees and over a dozen public buildings and literally hundreds of miles of road does not change your premium! (By the way, I hear the ex-employee wound up with just $20,000 after lawyers and expenses; even if $200,000 is right, it's a blip on the screen). And what other claims are there? I'll repeat myself, if they were there you'd have read about them already. This is the only one I read about in the last 5 years. If you know facts, then post them, not innuendo.

Fact: The common denominator sounds like an employee or other individual trying to enrich themselves at the cost of the taxpayer. You know, the ones who slip on a sidewalk and sue for soft tissue injury. Or an employee trying to get back at his boss. That's a sad way to live.

"By the way, I hear the ex-employee wound up with just $20,000 after lawyers and expenses"

Fact= My neighbor who is friends with the ex-employee has first hand knowledge that she has put, new vinyl fencing, built in pool, new shed, pavers, patio, sod, landscaping, hardwood flooring, new porch and walkway, and I quote "with a little of the money".

Unless she is swimming in a KOI pond and living in a condo, we are talking about much more than $20,000.

"Other claims" Kleinatland-firefighter, Cali-Town Clerk, C-firefighter, P-firefighter, G-police to name a few.

Want some not covered by the insurance, that we the taxpayer are paying the legal bill, Manor Developer, (town lost)

Crossing Guards, (town lost). Its late, give you more later.

Not, "innuendo and unfounded assumptions" FACTS! LOL

"Fact: The common denominator sounds like an employee or other individual trying to enrich themselves at the cost of the taxpayer. You know, the ones who slip on a sidewalk and sue for soft tissue injury. Or an employee trying to get back at his boss. That's a sad way to live."

Jane, the common denominator is the administration.

Sounds like employees that know what has been done to them is wrong.

When the Town filed their motions for summary judgement (public record) in an attempt to have these cases thrown out of court and were not successfull obviously there must have been some merit to their claims. Surely the Judge presented with the evidence was able to determine there was enough proof to substaintiate the employees complaints and set trial dates.

My neighbor has read a transcript and is going to ask for a copy and make me one. She said what she remembers is the Judge found in favor of the employee for hostile work environment, retaliation and whislte blower. She thinks there is more but cannot remember.

Doesn't sound like a slip on the sidewalk to me!

What is sad is it is allowed to continue.

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Guest Jane Anderson
Fact= My neighbor who is friends with the ex-employee has first hand knowledge that she has put, new vinyl fencing, built in pool, new shed, pavers, patio, sod, landscaping, hardwood flooring, new porch and walkway, and I quote "with a little of the money".

Unless she is swimming in a KOI pond and living in a condo, we are talking about much more than $20,000.

"Other claims" Kleinatland-firefighter, Cali-Town Clerk, C-firefighter, P-firefighter, G-police to name a few.

Want some not covered by the insurance, that we the taxpayer are paying the legal bill, Manor Developer, (town lost)

Crossing Guards, (town lost). Its late, give you more later.

When the Town filed their motions for summary judgement (public record) in an attempt to have these cases thrown out of court and were not successfull obviously there must have been some merit to their claims. Surely the Judge presented with the evidence was able to determine there was enough proof to substaintiate the employees complaints and set trial dates.

My neighbor has read a transcript and is going to ask for a copy and make me one. She said what she remembers is the Judge found in favor of the employee for hostile work environment, retaliation and whislte blower. She thinks there is more but cannot remember.

You just pile on the innuendo and wild speculation! "My neighbor who is friends with the ex-employee" is your evidence? You got to be kidding, that's like double hearsay! Then you compound that by assuming just because someone has had improvements done on a house means that she received some kind of financial award? It was reported at the beginning of February 2009! That means she would have all all that work (in ground pool in the winter!) done in three weeks??

On other claims, you say "to name a few". What "few"??! There was only one other name there and no What/When/How Much facts. Alot of innuendo, not facts.

What do Crossing Guards and the Manor have to do with insurance?

In addition to having wrong facts, you're also not a good lawyer. The granting of Summary Judgment means that a judge rules on the merits of the case without going to trial provided there's no "genuine issue" as to the facts and one side is right on the law. The Jersey Journal story said some of the employee's claims were thrown out and not allowed to go to trial. That means with the claims not thrown out, the judge thought there were disputed facts that needed a trial. That's it, nothing more or less. Think about it, would the ex-employee have settled if she knew she'd win at trial? Of course not!

I stand by what I said earlier, filing these kinds of lawsuits to get back at people is really a sad way to live.

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You just pile on the innuendo and wild speculation! "My neighbor who is friends with the ex-employee" is your evidence? You got to be kidding, that's like double hearsay! Then you compound that by assuming just because someone has had improvements done on a house means that she received some kind of financial award? It was reported at the beginning of February 2009! That means she would have all all that work (in ground pool in the winter!) done in three weeks??

On other claims, you say "to name a few". What "few"??! There was only one other name there and no What/When/How Much facts. Alot of innuendo, not facts.

What do Crossing Guards and the Manor have to do with insurance?

In addition to having wrong facts, you're also not a good lawyer. The granting of Summary Judgment means that a judge rules on the merits of the case without going to trial provided there's no "genuine issue" as to the facts and one side is right on the law. The Jersey Journal story said some of the employee's claims were thrown out and not allowed to go to trial. That means with the claims not thrown out, the judge thought there were disputed facts that needed a trial. That's it, nothing more or less. Think about it, would the ex-employee have settled if she knew she'd win at trial? Of course not!

I stand by what I said earlier, filing these kinds of lawsuits to get back at people is really a sad way to live.

No innuendo, assumptions and wild speculation Jane. You are the spin doctor trying to downplay the facts. Just because I heard what I did from my neighbor does not make the facts untrue. Case was settled in January. No one said all the work was complete, just purchased, again as she quoted, "with a little of the money from the settlement" I cannot speculate on why the ex-employee settled, maybe it was worth it. Flip it and say, If the Town knew they would win at trial would they have settled? Of course not!

Jane-"I stand by what I said earlier, filing these kinds of lawsuits to get back at people is really a sad way to live."

Your statement "to get back at people" obviously indicates something was done to the person that was wrong. So I can assume your position is a person should let someone do whatever they want to them and say or do nothing. Now, you have got to be kidding!!!! No one should have to work in a hostile work environment because a politician or administrator wants to "get back at them" or wants their job. Funny, isn't it, immediately after the settlement the administrator became the Town Clerk.

I'll stand by what I have said, anyone should file a lawsuit when they have been unjustly treated.

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Guest History repeats itself
You just pile on the innuendo and wild speculation! "My neighbor who is friends with the ex-employee" is your evidence? You got to be kidding, that's like double hearsay! Then you compound that by assuming just because someone has had improvements done on a house means that she received some kind of financial award? It was reported at the beginning of February 2009! That means she would have all all that work (in ground pool in the winter!) done in three weeks??

On other claims, you say "to name a few". What "few"??! There was only one other name there and no What/When/How Much facts. Alot of innuendo, not facts.

What do Crossing Guards and the Manor have to do with insurance?

In addition to having wrong facts, you're also not a good lawyer. The granting of Summary Judgment means that a judge rules on the merits of the case without going to trial provided there's no "genuine issue" as to the facts and one side is right on the law. The Jersey Journal story said some of the employee's claims were thrown out and not allowed to go to trial. That means with the claims not thrown out, the judge thought there were disputed facts that needed a trial. That's it, nothing more or less. Think about it, would the ex-employee have settled if she knew she'd win at trial? Of course not!

I stand by what I said earlier, filing these kinds of lawsuits to get back at people is really a sad way to live.

You need a dose of reality. Why is this case and this person so wrong? Current administration fought and supported the employees who sued the Town, because the same thing was done to them, when Vartan was Mayor. Want names, Ferraioli & Viscuso. If you are going to pitch make sure you can catch.

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Guest Kearnyite
You need a dose of reality. Why is this case and this person so wrong? Current administration fought and supported the employees who sued the Town, because the same thing was done to them, when Vartan was Mayor. Want names, Ferraioli & Viscuso. If you are going to pitch make sure you can catch.

What do those two names from the early 1990s have to do with 2009? My recollection is that they supported a candidate against then Mayor Vartan. The 2009/clerk issue has nothing to do with politics or candidates. Quite frankly, I'd say many if not most o f the current employees have never voted for this administration.

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Guest History repeats itself
What do those two names from the early 1990s have to do with 2009? My recollection is that they supported a candidate against then Mayor Vartan. The 2009/clerk issue has nothing to do with politics or candidates. Quite frankly, I'd say many if not most o f the current employees have never voted for this administration.

Are you serious! The 2009/clerk issue stinks of politics. The Mayor could have stopped what was happening but didn't because of politics. A wink is as good as a nod. The Mayor and Council run the Town, don't they?

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Guest Kearnyite
Are you serious! The 2009/clerk issue stinks of politics. The Mayor could have stopped what was happening but didn't because of politics. A wink is as good as a nod. The Mayor and Council run the Town, don't they?

The dispute had nothing to do about who the clerk politically supported for Mayor or any other candidate. Strip away all the spin, and it was all about who was the boss of the clerk at work. She wanted to be above the Administrator. Funny you should use the words "run the Town". I think the clerk thought it was her job.

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Guest History repeats itself
The dispute had nothing to do about who the clerk politically supported for Mayor or any other candidate. Strip away all the spin, and it was all about who was the boss of the clerk at work. She wanted to be above the Administrator. Funny you should use the words "run the Town". I think the clerk thought it was her job.

The dispute had nothing to do with who "ran the Town". Remove your spin and as I said previously, the Mayor and Council are supposed to "run the town". It was about the Mayor not stopping D'Arco because the clerk did not support him politically.

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Guest Kearnyite
The dispute had nothing to do with who "ran the Town". Remove your spin and as I said previously, the Mayor and Council are supposed to "run the town". It was about the Mayor not stopping D'Arco because the clerk did not support him politically.

Most town employees have never supported Santos. Yet aren't they all still there?

Plus, it's now like TEN years (and FIVE election/re-elections later) since Santos became Mayor. Who the Clerk supported is meaningless. She could have supported Genghis Kahn or Daffy Duck and it wouldn't make a difference.

Re-read the news stories. What did the Mayor say at the Council meeting last month, something like "Cali versus D'arco it's over, PERIOD". The lawsuit was all about who was the boss of the clerk. The clerk didn't want a boss.

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Guest I M Politico
Most town employees have never supported Santos. Yet aren't they all still there?

Plus, it's now like TEN years (and FIVE election/re-elections later) since Santos became Mayor. Who the Clerk supported is meaningless. She could have supported Genghis Kahn or Daffy Duck and it wouldn't make a difference.

Re-read the news stories. What did the Mayor say at the Council meeting last month, something like "Cali versus D'arco it's over, PERIOD". The lawsuit was all about who was the boss of the clerk. The clerk didn't want a boss.

Very good assumption. If I recall correctly, Ms. Cali was a holdover from the Vartan administration, which she supported. If Santos was politically prejudiced, wouldn't he have gotten rid of her as soon as he took office?

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Guest Guest
Very good assumption. If I recall correctly, Ms. Cali was a holdover from the Vartan administration, which she supported. If Santos was politically prejudiced, wouldn't he have gotten rid of her as soon as he took office?
Hey idiot moron she was a certified clerk with civil service.He could;nt touch her!!!
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Guest Kearnyite
Hey idiot moron she was a certified clerk with civil service.He could;nt touch her!!!

Wrong. By State law, a municipal clerk only gets tenure IF the Council re-appoints him/her after FIVE years as municipal clerk. Prior to tenure, re-appointment can be denied for just about ANY reason. That would mean re-appointment would have happened during the Santos administration even though she politically supported Mayor Vartan in 1997.

Do you want to apologize for your "idiot moron" language?

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Guest I M Politico
Hey idiot moron she was a certified clerk with civil service.He could;nt touch her!!!

Guess again, you silver-tongued devil! Ms. Cali served as "acting" Town Clerk until after Santos was elected. During the early days of his administration, she was made permanent. I doubt whether someone classified as "acting" is safe in his/her position (even though Cali was excellent at her job).

My point is---and try to comprehend this concept---the problem was not a political conflict between Ms. Cali and Mayor Santos. If that were the case, the situation would have erupted much sooner than it did.

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  • 3 years later...
Guest Leopard Spotter

The dispute had nothing to do about who the clerk politically supported for Mayor or any other candidate. Strip away all the spin, and it was all about who was the boss of the clerk at work. She wanted to be above the Administrator. Funny you should use the words "run the Town". I think the clerk thought it was her job.

History repeats itself with former Kearny Clerk Doreen Cali. She's the Clerk in Roselle Park and wanted to be the Administrator there as well. Read the below, which was written on July 28, 2012, by a Roselle Park official:

Let it lie, already.

by bobmilici1, 07/28/12 10:36 AM

The vote's been taken, it's time to move forward. The Borough Clerk already uses more authority than her job requires or is intended to do - this is a simple ploy - using taxpayer dollars - to remove Council member input.

There is no need for a CAO - the town has been running fine without one. Let's remember the title she has "Borough CLERK". Take notes, expedite correspondence, make sure the office runs correctly, oversee election day and results.

Get over it already. If she wants to be a manager or director, let her find a job in the private sector - if she can.

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