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EdPDLaw Editorial
October 22, 2016

 

Civil Service Has Confirmed Hudson County Department of Family Services, Roger Quintana was the Only One Who Took the Test

The Civil Service Commission has confirmed that Roger Quintana was the only employee to take the test for Personnel Officer in the Hudson County Department of Family Services.  Although Elinor Gibney has supplied an "Amended Test Announcement", it is highly likely that the announcement was ever posted.   Click here to see the confirming documents supplied by Civil Service.  

As you can see, Mr. Quintana scored below 80% on the test.   Moreover, the Civil Service Announcement states that only those holding the current position of Assistant Personnel Officer Title Code 04831 are eligible for the test.  However, neither Civil Service or Hudson County ever list Quintana as an "Assistant Personnel Officer", a position he would have had to test for.  The Civil Service Announcement is the 4th page in the above attachment. He also needed 2 years of supervisory experience before he would have been eligible to take that test. Click here to obtain CSC definition of Assistant Personnel Officer.

Just another blaring example of Hudson County corruption.  Quintana received his promotion under false pretenses and the Supervisor's Union could successfully contest it.


EdPDLaw Editorial
October 10, 2016

Hudson County DFS, Roger Quintana - Personnel Officer? Personnel Technician or Still Investigator?

It appears that Hudson County ran the end game around Civil Service Rules when it promoted Roger Quintana, x-Union President to an Administrative position, gaining control of the Union.  Currently the Union is alleged to work as an Agent of the Administration having discipline imposed against its members that do not "go with the program". Both discipline and terminations are reported to have increased dramatically during the Malta-Roman Trial with the Promotion of Quintana, and appointment of Frances Cintron to Union President.

Once Again, Hudson County Corruption is uncovered involving Promotions, this time within the Department of Family Services with the Promotion of Roger Quintana to "Personnel Officer", a position he does not appear to have been qualified for.  According to the CAMPS forms supplied by the County in response to EdPDLaw's OPRA request, Roger Quintana currently holds the position of "Personnel Technician", Civil Service Title Code 02655.  
 

On November 16, 2009, the County announced and posted for the position of "Personnel Officer" - Civil Service Code 02653.  The announcement was closed on November 26, 2009.  The County solicited resumes from all interested candidates.  See Job Announcement.

On 12/7/2009, the County then appointed Roger Quintana "provisionally" as a "Personnel Officer" - Civil Service Code 02653.  See CAMPS form (check title code box).

Civil Service Rule 4A:4-1.5 states that provisional appointees must be qualified for the position at the time of the appointment:

4A:4-1.5 Provisional Appointments

 (a) A provisional appointment may be made only in the competitive division of the career service when all of the following conditions are met:
 
1. There is no complete list of eligibles, and no one remaining on an incomplete list will accept provisional appointment;

2. The appointee meets the minimum qualifications for the title at the time of the appointment; and

3. The appointing authority certifies that failure to make the provisional appointment will seriously impair its work.

(b) Any employee who is serving on a provisional basis and who fails to file for and take an examination which has been announced for his or her title shall be separated from the provisional title. The appointing authority shall be notified by the Department and shall take necessary steps to separate the employee within 30 days of notification, which period may be extended by the Commissioner for good cause.


The requirements for the position of "Personnel Officer", Civil Service Code 02653 are:


Three (3) years of supervisory personnel experience including the review of classification problems and wage studies, handling personnel problems, and coordination of the training needs of the jurisdiction.
 


The definition of a "Personnel Officer" is:

 

PERSONNEL OFFICER

DEFINITION


Under direction, is responsible for the human resources functions of an agency or agencies within a jurisdiction. Maintains liaison between the agency and the State Department of Personnel in matters of personnel administration; manages the operation of a personnel work unit and directs one or more personnel functions such as, employee and labor relations, personnel policy development, classification and compensation, and related employment activities; does other related duties.

See Civil Service Full Title Requirements for Personnel Officer

Quintana's Employee Profile lists him as an "Investigator" prior to his provisional appointment.  Click here to view Quintana's Employee Profile.

Thereafter, Quintana tested for the position of "Personnel Officer" with less than a year in the provisional position.  On September 7, 2010, Civil Service certified him as the only qualified candidate for the position of "Personnel Officer", Title Code 02653.  See Certification (barely readable - but Title Code is legible).

On October 25, 2010, the County promoted Quintana to the alleged permanent position of "Personnel Officer" but this time his CAMPS form reflects Civil Service Code, 02655 as his permanent position.  View CAMPS form. Civil Service Title Code 02655 is for the position of "Personnel Technician" which only requires 1 year of experience handling personnel matters, complaints and grievances.  

Civil Service Title Code 02655, Personnel Technician states:


Job Specification 02655

PERSONNEL TECHNICIAN DEFINITION

Under direction assists with work involved in varied personnel transactions of the jurisdiction; conducts field investigations on procedures, complaints, grievances, and other personnel matters; does other related duties as required.

EXPERIENCE:

One (1) year of technical experience involving personnel work including position classification, compensation, employee benefits, administration, testing, interviewing, and/or related functions.

See Civil Service Full Title Requirements for Personnel Technician


The bottom line is that Quintana was not qualified for the position of "Personnel Officer" at the time of his provisional appointment making him ineligible to take the test.   I'm guessing that the County also knew that if they posted for the position of "Personnel Technician", that any Union Executive Board Member that held a position for at least a year, and any Supervisor with at least one year in grade would be eligible to take the test.

Currently, Ms. Malta-Roman is scheduled to have a hearing before the Judiciary Panel on October 18, 2016.  She has requested that the hearing be public so that other members could attend and see what is really going on with their Union. Surprisingly, this request was denied.

Coworkers have been circulating a Petition on her behalf to prevent her removal, but that has also been met with resistance.  See Council Response.

So now what Hudson County?  Are you going to discipline me?  Have me thrown out of the Union?  The Union's job is to protect its membership from the Administration, not serve them up in exchange for bogus promotions, cushy positions or any other Percs that are offered to them.

 


EdPDLaw Editorial
September 26, 2016

Hudson County Loses Another Lawsuit for Discrimination to the Tune of $8.45 Million Dollars - The Real Story
 

Kimberle Malta-Roman, an employee of the Hudson County Department of Family Services, wins punitive and compensatory damages after the County discriminates against her for protected Union Activities and being handicapped.  Her Union has offered no support whatsoever and has taken actions to have her thrown out of the Union.
 

In a sad, twisted, but familiar story when dealing with Hudson County, Kimberle Malta-Roman refused to be intimidated or bullied and fought for justice.  She was victorious over Hudson County to the tune of $8.45 million dollars.  

The most disappointing part of this story is the actions of her Union who refused her numerous requests for assistance and who appears to have aligned themselves with the Administration against her.  Instead of supporting her (Ms. Malta-Roman suffers from cancer), they have taken action to have her removed from the Union.


THE BACK STORY AS ARGUED BY MALTA-ROMAN'S LAWYER, COLIN PAGE, ESQUIRE AT CLOSING ARGUMENTS:
 

Colin Page, Esquire argued that Ms. Malta-Roman was specifically targeted for termination due to her protected Union activities.  In 2009, Roger Quintana, the President of the Welfare employee’s union, AFSME #2306 was appointed the Director of Personnel for Welfare.  It is alleged that this was done so that the County could capture or take control over the Union and make it work for the County instead of for the employees.  Frances Cintron, the new President of the Union was originally appointed Vice-President by Quintana, then took over when he stepped down as President to take his new position. 

In 2012, Ms. Malta-Roman began publicly criticizing Cintron for being too close to Quintana (who was now Administration) and not standing up for the membership of the Union.  Malta-Roman is an important figure within the Union because her brother-in-law, Frank Roman, was President of the Union for many years prior to Quitana's term.   Malta-Roman began talking to other employees about running for Union President. Cintron then made a Complaint about Malta-Roman to the County and told the County that Malta-Roman was being very critical of Quintana.  Notably, the Union leadership has brought Complaints against other Union Activists that have criticized them.  The County then disciplines the Union Activists effectively chilling any dissent and eliminating any challenges to the Union Leadership.  Does any of this sound familiar to members of PBA Local #109?

The election where Malta-Roman would have challenged Cintron for President was in the summer of 2012.  However, Malta-Roman never got the chance to run because she was terminated allegedly due to her depression.  The County used Ms. Malta-Roman’s depression to terminate her because she had a record of good performance and had never been disciplined for misconduct.  Importantly, during that period, the County was still negotiating the 2011-2013 Contract with Union.  Quintana conceded at the Trial that this was a critical Contract.  The deal was allegedly finalized in the Spring of 2013.  It appears to be the worst Contract that the Union has ever negotiated with the County.  It also appears to be significantly worse than other Contracts negotiated by other Unions during that period of time.  Moreover, that Contract has never been published and cannot be found.  It was never distributed to the Union membership.  Also, it is not posted on the PERC website where all public labor contracts are supposed to be disclosed. 

Colin Page, Esquire argued, and it appears that the Jury was convinced that the County terminated Ms. Malta-Roman to prevent her from interfering with its negotiation of a sweetheart Contract with Union Leaders that are in the County’s pocket.  Notably, following the negotiation of the 2014-2019 Contract, Frances Cintron received a promotion and her office was moved down the hall from Quintana.  She has also been caught forwarding sensitive Union documents to Elinor Gibney, R. Knapp, and R. Martinovich.

During the Trial, Elinor Gibney testified that she took no corrective action after receiving numerous County Complaints involving Roger Quintana.  Malta-Roman and approximately 15 - 20 employees from the Department of Family Services appeared at a Freeholder's Meeting on December 10, 2015 in an attempt to have their grievances heard and inform the Freeholder's of the corruption in the Department of Family Services.  This issue of public concern should have been addressed by the Freeholders and would have saved the taxpayer's $8.45 million dollars.  Instead, the Complaints fell on deaf ears and the Union filed charges against Malta-Roman for speaking out against Quintana (now Administration) and the Union's alignment with the Administration.

THE SIMILARITIES

It appears that Hudson County was busy in 2012 as they were attempting to gain control of not only the  PBA Union Local # 109, but the Department of Family Services Union as well.  The similarities between these two stories are striking.

In 2012, Deputy Director Kirk Eady illegally wiretapped the phones of EdPDLaw, President Ocasio, Grievance Committee Chairman Murray and PBA Superior Officer's President Ortiz' phone.  He then recorded the calls he illegally intercepted and began playing them for other Union members in an attempt to sway the vote away form President Ocasio and EdPDLaw's Union Contract.

In 2012, unbenownst to the PBA or EdPDLaw, the County was also attempting to maintain control of the Department of Family Service's Union, AFSME Local #2306. In this instance, they had the current Union Officials lodge charges against the potential threat of Malta-Roman becoming President which would have returned the Union to the employees.  Instead of letting the voters decide, they terminated Malta-Roman on false charges which were later overturned in appeal by the Office of Administrative Law.  Click here to read the OAL Decision.
 

Also notable, is that PBA Local #109 was also never provided with a copy of one of its Contracts that was also not posted anywhere that it should have been.  PBA Local # 109 eventually obtained a copy of the Contract years later which was in the possession of the law office of Scarinici Hollenbeck.

 Another similiarlity, Malta-Roman received a letter mailed the Monday before this Trial was to start telling her that she was terminated.  EdPDLaw was served with a lawsuit by the County, naming her the Friday before the Federal Criminal Trial of Deputy Director Kirk Eady was to start.

The County is using the same doctors to do their dirty work despite proof that the doctor's are on the take.  Dr. Kanen was used in the Al'keen Ford matter and also found to be incredible.  In 2012 the County paid Dr. Kanen $113,542 for his services.
 

In an interview with Malta-Roman, who has since been re-instated, but made to work without a computer for a week, Malta-Roman stated that when she spoke to County Counsel Donato Battista about the situation he told her that she had to be terminated because she was a "troublemaker".

She further stated that Daniel Sexton, Esquire, attorney for the County made the comment that he does not care how long this takes or what happens, that he gets paid anyway and it is not his money he is playing with.

Malta-Roman stated, "I am grateful that the jury awarded punitive damages and hope that this will deter the County and the Union from working together in the future to harm other employees."

Ms. Malta - Roman is scheduled to have a hearing before the AFSME Judicial Panel on October 18, 2016.  Anyone wishing to support Ms. Malta-Roman may contact the Council at:

AFSME AFL-CIO
Judicial Case # 16-66
1625 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-429-1210
Fax: 202-822-8169

 Ms. Malta-Roman is represented by Colin Page, Esquire:

Colin Page, Esquire
Employment Counseling and Litigation Practices
Berkowitcz, Lichstein, Kuritsky, Giasullo & Gross LLC
75 Livingston Avenue
Roseland, NJ 07068
Phone: 973-352-8847
Fax: 973-325-7930


email: cpage@blkgg.com


 Congratulations to Kimberle Malta-Roman!  You go girl!

 EdPDlaw has heard from other employees of the Department of Family Services and will follow up on this story as it develops.  Employees can email EdPDlaw at:  edpdlaw@comcast.net.