Deputy city clerk Joan Campbell-Douglas unexpectedly resigned from her post earlier in the month citing “circumstances beyond” her control. She was appointed three and half years ago by the City Council.
“Please be advised that due to circumstances beyond my control, I wish to step down from the position of Deputy City Clerk effective July 2, 2018 and be reassigned to the Office of the Municipal Council respectively,” wrote Campbell-Douglas in the letter dated Jun. 4, 2018 to the governing body.
Council members were surprised and puzzled by the sudden resignation.
“I was surprised,” said city council vice president Luis Velez. He saw the clause stating the resignation is due to “circumstances beyond” her control as a bit cryptic and suggests there may be more to the story.
“I had no idea what that meant,” said council president Ruby Cotton of the cryptic clause in the resignation letter.
Campbell-Douglas in a brief interview with the Paterson Times last week said she resigned for personal reasons.
“I’m a very private person,” said Campbell-Douglas. When asked whether the work environment at the City Clerk’s Office prompted her resignation, she replied in the negative. “It’s not work related,” she said.
Sometimes the environment at the City Clerk’s Office can be tense. A clerk has described the environment as “toxic.”
Both the council president and the vice president gave glowing reviews of the deputy clerk.
“She’s always been a very good person to work with,” said Cotton. “She’s excellent. I wish she would have stayed [as deputy clerk].”
Velez praised her for her professionalism.
As deputy clerk Campbell-Douglas made $71,266. A city council office clerk makes far less. She resides in Paterson and has worked for the city for 19 years.
Both the city clerk and the deputy clerk answer to the nine-member city council. The mayor has no authority over the clerk’s office.
Council members will have to appoint a new deputy clerk.