UNION CITY AND BEYOND -- The same day that the media reported on Union City Mayor Brian Stack's office being subpoenaed in relation to an investigation of Police Chief Charles Everett, a state ethics committee also confirmed that they voted to look into whether Stack, who also serves as a state senator, is improperly using his paid legislative aide as a spokesman for his city as well.
Stack Aide Mark Albiez actually does perform as a spokesman for Stack in Union City. Stack has told the state that Albiez does that work for free. On Wednesday morning, Albiez confirmed as much for the Reporter as well.
"I think the people understand that I am fully committed" to serving, Albiez said.
Albiez is a paid aide to both Stack and to Hoboken-based Assemblyman Ruben Ramos. The investigation seeks to determine if he is doing a third job -- a city job -- while state taxpayers are paying him.
One media report quoted Nancy Erika Smith, a member of the Joint Legislative Commission on Ethical Standards, as saying that Albiez earns $75,000 for both legislative jobs. Smith was quoted as saying: “He’s collecting two state pays. He’s collecting from the Assembly and Senate … That might be nights and weekends, and that might be the way it is, but it’s a little disturbing.”
The committee voted 7-0 to hold a hearing on the complaint in the future.
The complaint came from former Union City Deputy Police Chief and current private investigator Joe Blaettler, whose complaints about the Stack administration have spurred several investigations of Stack's administration this year. See links to our past coverage below.
In a related matter, Albiez said Wednesday morning that he could neither confirm nor deny the subpoenas sent to the city in the police chief matter.