Caught With Hand in the Till | Paterson Times

Caught With Hand in the Till


Evidence unearthed by an advertisement infested hyper-local news paper shows that, Vera Ames-Garnes, a retired councilwoman, who spent much time in the City Council, received more than 3,000 dollars in reimbursement for the self-imposed furlough days.

In 2011, the city, after a resolution made its way through the City Council, voted to impose 10 furlough days on most municipal employees save firefighters and policemen during the passage of which Ms Ames-Garnes voted in the positive;  in 2012, another 10 days of furlough was being discussed, and during the voting phase Ms Ames-Garnes was absent — she did not vote.

Employees of the city of Paterson, for the last 2 years, were required by a resolution passed by City Council, to take 20 furlough days — unpaid vacation.

All members of the council agreed and played by the resolution: going without pay for the mandatory days. Some of them have cried foul after hearing one of their colleagues was reimbursed.

From the amount, it seems, Ms Ames-Garnes was reimbursed for the whole of 20 days, despite casting her vote for the first 10 days of 2011.

Charles Thomas, business administrator and the man responsible for doling out the money, to save face and cover himself, said the furloughs were voluntary; then why was the former councilwoman reimbursed even for the 10 days for which she voluntarily agreed to forgo payments for the financial betterment of the city?