HOBOKEN – The city announced last week that it is seeking applications for the full-time position of Construction Code Official. In 2011, the city terminated longtime official Al Arezzo. As noted in a Reporter story two weeks ago, Arezzo has filed a suit to get his job back.
But he may have some difficulty. It was reported in the press last week that Arezzo’s license was suspended this past March by the state due to an alleged conflict of interest in a Monroe Street project that sought construction approvals in 2001. According to a report, the state said that Arezzo had a “member interest” in the limited liability company that owned the project and should have recused himself.
The Reporter story about Arezzo’s suit was published a week ago Sunday. On Tuesday, the city issued a press release saying they are seeking a new full-time official. They have been working with an interim official since 2011.
The city’s release about the job says, “The city seeks honest and professional candidates to manage the construction office efficiently and treat all residents and business owners with respect and fairness. “
In 2011, Arezzo was suspended and then later terminated in Hoboken for allegedly not completing required training courses for his job.
Arezzo maintained in the suit that all of the scheduled training sessions were during the times that the state mandated that Arezzo and other construction officials were required to be in their office to deal with permits.
Arezzo’s attorney, John Lacey of Connell Foley, LLP said in the Reporter story that an administrative law judge recently found that the city’s decision was “overly severe” and instead reduced the penalty to a six-month suspension. Lacey said the judge’s decision will now be reviewed by a Civil Service Commission, who will make the final decision.
The city has filed an exception to the decision to get it reversed, according to Lacey.