You remember back in November when the story broke that long time City of Trenton employee and AFSCME local president Dave Tallone was charged by the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office with fraudulently obtaining city contracts, right?
Then read Lisa Coryell's article from the Times, November 11, 2011.
And you remember when, on the heel of those charges, the City of Trenton issued a release stating that Mr. Tallone was to be suspended immediately without pay? If not, here's the press release on the city website.
Well, what if we told you that Mr. Tallone has not missed a day of pay in the past two plus months?
We didn't either. that is not until we checked his payroll records and discovered that Mr. Tallone has been collecting "sick pay", "holiday pay" and, of course, his "longevity pay" ever since his alleged suspension.
Seems as though Mr. Tallone was never technically suspended. Sources are saying the city, in the persons of acting Business Administrator Anthony Roberts and/or acting Public Works Director Harold Hall, never provided Mr. Tallone with the required Loudermill hearing and notice of suspension. There doesn't seem to be any reason to not have provided this "due process" to Mr. Tallone. He didn't even have to be present for them to hold a hearing and draft a notice to send to him.
The city just didn't seem to do it in the 30 days allotted. So now Mr. Tallone enjoys a taxpayer paid vacation while awaiting the disposition of his case.
Was this by design or default? Maybe Mr. Bocchini or the new state Attorney General should seek answers to that question.
UPDATE: The Trentonian has posted a story on line here wherein highyl paid contract labor attorney for the city Steve Glickman claims that Tallone's charges were not serious enough to allow suspension without pay. Glickman goes on to explain that Tallone could be suspended with pay, but that would be like giving him a "paid vacation."
Mr. Glickman, what is Mr. Tallone getting now but paid for not doing anything? Sounds like a paid vacation to us.
*We use the term "Crime" here to make the reference to the old saw that crime doesn't pay. We fully recognize that Mr. Tallone was only charged with criminal acts and as yet has not been found guilty of any crime. Innocent until proven guilty and all that.