City employment records show Denise Coba, the health department director’s sister-in-law, who was hired by the director contrary to the city’s ethics code, did not meet basic employment qualifications.
An advertisement for the program analyst position currently held by Coba shows a four-year degree as a requirement for the job. Coba’s resume provided by the city through an Open Public Records request after a month of wait shows she has completed three years in Ramapo College, but a degree was never conferred.
The advertisement also states the applicant must have: “One (1) year of experience in the review, analysis and evaluation of operating programs in an agency or organization.” Coba’s resume shows she had worked in four minor marketing roles, and her final employment experience before being hired by the city was that of an administrative assistant at an Auburn Street company in the city.
Her resume experiences suggest a career change with her new position at the city. Coba’s resume contain a dearth of experience in health related fields. Her employment application also contain a field that was conspicuously left out.
The application asked: “Are you related (by blood, marriage or living with) to any person(s) currently working for the City of Paterson?”
Options presented next to the question were: yes or no. The application shows a blank: it was never answered. Nelson-Ivy has told city officials, because her husband passed away some two decades ago, the sister-in-law relationship dissolved and ceased to exist.
This paper sought answers from the director over qualification and the blank field left on the employment form; messages left with the director’s office secretary went unanswered.
Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres, who has kept Nelson-Ivy at the helm of the department under acting capacity, requested a report from the legal department last month, but has yet to receive one. “Right now, I am awaiting to hear from the law department [on] something as it relates to the issue of nepotism, as it relates to a relationship that expired when her husband expired some 20 years ago,” said Torres on Monday.
“I didn’t do the hiring, she was hired before I got in,” said Torres. “Let me take this with baby steps.”
When asked when a report would be completed, Torres said the city’s legal department has been swamped with cases, and law department director Domenick Stampone has gone on vacation.