The city’s construction official Gennaro “Jerry” Lobozzo has been barred from the campus of the Essex County Community College following an on campus confrontation with a former municipal employee.
James DiMaria, a former fire prevention specialist, alleges Lobozzo harassed him. He was at the college taking a class called Building Inspector ICS at room S009. It was the first day of class on Jan. 8, 2018. Prior to the start of class, DiMaria chatted with some of his classmates.
Lobozzo’s name came up when DiMaria and two other men talked about their past jobs, according to an Essex County College Police Department incident report.
DiMaria told them he once worked for the city and Lobozzo was his boss, but that it was over 10 years ago. One of his interlocutor said he previously worked at Passaic City as a part-time plumbing inspector but lost his job to Lobozzo’s company.
DiMaria sought details of Lobozzo’s job at Passaic City because he was working full-time in Paterson. He was told Lobozzo works part-time for Passaic City. He works nights and weekends, according to the report.
DiMaria was asked why he left his Paterson job. He said he disliked Lobozzo and his “leadership.” He also wondered out loud that “he does not know how Mr. Lobozzo possesses a valid license,” reads the report.
On Jan. 22, 2018, DiMaria was waiting for class to start. He saw Lobozzo and another city employee Philip Cosentino walk into the classroom and sit directly behind him.
DiMaria turned, asked Lobozzo “if he was getting his building inspector license.” Lobozzo replied, “We will see,” says the report.
Lobozzo then asked DiMaria to step out into the hallway before class starts. In the hallway, Lobozzo told him he had a dream that DiMaria was “talking behind his back saying he does not know how Lobozzo got his license,” according to the report.
DiMaria replied he was not “talking bad about him.” However, Lobozzo interrupted, asking does he know how the dream ends.
“Mr. Lobozzo stated to Mr. DiMaria that the dream ends by Mr. Lobozzo taking everything that Mr. DiMaria worked hard for,” reads the report.
Lobozzo and Cosentino then left the campus. Lobozzo said he is an alumni of the college.
“How do you even know about that?” asked Lobozzo when contacted for comment on Wednesday. He was contacted last month about the incident, but did not respond. On Wednesday, he spoke with a reporter via phone while driving — he was pulled over by a police officer.
Lobozzo said he was at the college “checking out” the building inspector class.
When asked why he had on his city uniform, Lobozzo replied, “I went straight from work to check out the class.” He said he had his municipal jacket on at the time of the incident.
Lobozzo’s boss economic development director Ruben Gomez said on Tuesday night he does not monitor employees on their own time. He said on that day Lobozzo left work at 3:30 p.m.
The incident at the college happened at 4:30 p.m., according to the report. Cosentino recorded the incident, says the report.
Municipal officials said DiMaria left the city two years ago. Lobozzo said the former employee found a higher paying job elsewhere and left.
Lobozzo said DiMaria left without giving the customary two-week notice.
“He’s unprofessional and acts like a five-year old,” alleged Lobozzo. “I did nothing but treat this guy with respect.”
DiMaria’s contact information was not available to reach him for comments.
DiMaria told campus police he wants to file a harassment complaint against his former boss. It’s not clear whether he filed a complaint.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Lobozzo of the incident. He claimed to have not spoken to campus police. However, the report states an officer spoke to both Lobozzo and Cosentino.
The incident took place on Jan. 22, 2018. The Paterson Times sought records of the incident on Feb. 14, 2018. The college requested and received an extension on Feb. 23 to provide the records on Mar. 2, 2018.
The college failed to provide the records on Mar. 2. When contacted on Tuesday morning, the college sought another extension to provide the reports on Mar. 9. This extension request was rejected and the Paterson Times demanded the records be produced at once.
College officials released the reports on Tuesday night.
Lobozzo said he knew nothing about the incident report. The report states Lobozzo was sent a “notice of trespass.” He said he received the trespass notice that stated he was barred from campus.