On Thursday morning, Sacs was allegedly assaulted by a city employee, Bill Laney, and the two were arrested. Laney was charged with simple assault, and Sacs was charged with harassment and theft of property, according to police. Specifics of the arrests have not been released by City Hall.
Other websites have reported that incident occurred after Sacs confiscated the keys to a city bus from Laney, a city bus driver.
City Hall released their version of the incident on Friday, stating: "On his way to work, Director Sacs came across one of the Hop buses left idling, unattended, unlocked, without passengers, and parked illegally on the side of the street. After looking around for the driver unsuccessfully, he returned the unoccupied bus to the City garage as is his responsibility and obligation to the City. Director Sacs then proceeded to bring the keys to the bus back to City Hall."
On Thursday, Zimmer's office released a short statement referring to Sacs as a "victim of workplace violence." On Friday, Zimmer released a new statement. She said: “After yesterday’s incident occurred, my administration immediately began an investigation. Given that this is a personnel matter, it was absolutely essential that the city determine the facts so that we could take appropriate action. All disciplinary decisions were based on direct eye witness accounts provided to the Corporation Counsel’s office.”
Laney was suspended without pay because of the alleged assault, according to the city. Sacs was not suspended.
Mason said in her own statement: “The actions taken yesterday by Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the City Administration in response to an altercation between a city employee and City Parking Authority Director Ian Sacs are very troubling. The mayor’s decision to suspend the employee without pay, while keeping her friend, Mr. Sacs, on the payroll with free legal advice from the corporation counsel, goes beyond any reasonable bounds of fairness."
Zimmer has said a third party investigation will take place to look into the incident. Mason wasn't satisfied.
“The Mayor has called for a ‘third-party investigation’ into this matter,” Mason said. “Before she spends any more tax dollars to defend Mr. Sacs, she should let the Hoboken Police conduct a thorough and objective investigation and let our courts decide where to affix responsibility for this ugly incident.”
Zimmer defended her decisions on Friday.
“As with every personnel matter, our Office of Corporation Counsel conducts a fact-finding investigation before filing administrative charges against an employee,” she said. “We have an obligation to ensure our employees a safe workplace, so while there is a parallel legal process that will proceed through the courts to address summonses issued, there is also a disciplinary process to address employee behavior through the Office of Administrative Law and the Civil Service Commission. As I said yesterday, we have brought in an outside independent party to conduct an investigation of the matter. Michael D’Anton from the law offices of Chasan, Leyner & Lamparello has already begun his investigation, which we expect will conclude in the near future. This firm had previously been approved by the City Council.” -- Ray Smith