After months of rescheduled court dates and other legal actions brought forth by both parties, it seems that the chief and the mayor have finally settled their differences.
In an official statement released by the city, and agreed to by the chief, it was announced that Stack, the city and Everett have all agreed on a three-year contract that more specifically defines the roles of Director of Public Safety and the Police Chief.
"While the Police Chief and I have had some disagreement over procedures within the Department of Public Safety, we have both always shared a very important goal: keeping Union City as safe as possible," said Stack, who serves as director of public safety.
Last Friday, the in-house disciplinary hearings for Chief Everett were suppose to begin yet again, after a first attempt at negotiations was unsuccessful.
After that attempt, Everett changed attorneys and was being represented by Louis Zayas, who also represents him in a civil suit Everett brought against Stack and the city.
The suit was filed after Everett was hit with 67 disciplinary charges brought forth by the mayor, which the chief's attorney called "retaliation" for Everett's actions.
It was for those 67 charges, which were encompassed in seven complaints that Everett was required to go through disciplinary hearings.
However, the attorneys and both parties entered into private discussions instead, and ultimately decided to resume negotiations.
As a result, an agreement was reached that satisfied both parties, and both have dropped any and all disciplinary and legal charges against each other.
A little background
The situation between Everett and Stack first came about last April, and spilled over to the public domain after Everett went public on cable TV stating that the mayor had asked him to resign.
Stack then issued his own public statement saying he never asked him to resign and that the chief had approached him about early retirement.
There had also allegedly been an ongoing turf war within the police department.
Regardless, after Everett decided to remain on as chief of police, he was hit with numerous departmental charges, such as insubordination, just a few months later. Everett's former attorney called it retaliation from the mayor.
Many of the charges had to do with Everett's refusal to immediately implement certain department policy changes drawn up by Stack, because he felt it interfered with day-to-day operations of the department. Among the changes was that the chief was not allowed to enter headquarters on his days off and sick days.
Both parties in agreement
After the initial negotiations fell through, the disciplinary hearings were scheduled to resume on Friday, Feb. 23.
Assisting the proceedings to give Everett support were his fellow chiefs from throughout Hudson County including: William Gavin of North Bergen; Edward Zloty, chief of Hudson County Sheriff's Officer; and Robert Kubert of Kearny, who also serves as the president of the Chief of Police Association of Hudson County.
"We came to support our member and to show our [discontent] for the injustice we think is being held against him," said Kubert. "I hope they settle it amicably in the best interest of all parties involved."
Regardless, both sides opted to resume negotiations, and under the new agreement, the Police Chief Everett has acknowledged the authority of Mayor Stack as Director of Public Safety to promulgate rules and regulations for the Police Department, and also acknowledged that the Police Chief is directly responsible to the Public Safety Director for the efficiency and routine day-to-day operations of the Police Department.
The contract also reaffirmed the authority of the Public Safety Director to establish a table of organization for the Police Department, and the director's right to investigate the operations of the police department and the performance of any officer or member of the department.
It also reaffirms the obligation of the Police Chief for the efficient and routine day-to-day operations of the Police Department and the administration and enforcement of rules, regulations and emergency directives promulgated by the Public Safety Director. In addition, the contract reaffirms the responsibility of the Police Chief to prescribe the duties and assignments of all subordinates and other personnel.
"We first signed off on this on Monday," said Gerald Dorf, attorney representing Stack and Union City. "As a result of this resolution on these outstanding issues and the establishment of a framework for a positive working relationship, the mayor has given the chief a [new] three year contract." Jessica Rosero can be reached at email@example.com