Government Law

Report: Township lawyer got $18K annually but did no work

An unidentified lawyer for a New Jersey township was earning $18,800 annually, plus health benefits, but admittedly got no work assignments for years.

The attorney resigned from the North Bergen job in January after the state comptroller’s office began asking questions, reports the Star-Ledger.

Meanwhile, the township’s top lawyer, Herbert Klitzner, earned more than the state attorney general in 2011. He was paid $207,870 by North Bergen, plus $16,469 for unused vacation time, says a report released this week by the comptroller’s office.

A Politicker NJ post includes a lengthy response from a spokesman for North Bergen. He said the the city and Klitzner have acted appropriately, as other agencies which have considered the issues raised by the comptroller’s office have previously agreed.

“Regarding the charge of a ‘no work’ attorney on the township payroll, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office has already investigated this matter, at the request of the Township, and formally notified our Law Department that they found no evidence of any wrongdoing,” said spokesman Paul Swibinski. “We are confident that after reviewing the facts, the State Division of Criminal Justice will reach the same conclusion.”

Additional and related coverage:

Associated Press: “Report: Some NJ towns overpaying lawyers “

Asbury Park Press: “State probe questions legal counsel payments in Freehold Regional”

Jersey Journal (2011): “Attorney for North Bergen rakes in huge salary and outsources work to private law firm where he works, report says”

The Record (2011): “North Bergen town attorney making top dollar”

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.