Mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration hired the son of the city’s assistant business administrator for a public works job, according to public records.
Dylan Hirschmanner was hired as a laborer in the parks and shade tree division on Apr. 22, 2019 for $30,000, according to records. He is the son of assistant business administrator Jennifer Hirschmanner.
He graduated from Clifton High School and is attending Union County College, according to records. At the time of his job application submission in Feb., he was not a resident of Paterson. His application states he had been a resident for eight months.
The city has a residency ordinance that requires employees being hired to be residents. It also has a nepotism policy that bars the hiring of relatives where such would result in the “creation of a prohibited employment relationship.”
A prohibited relationship is defined as a relative having authority to supervise (directly or indirectly), appoint, remove, discipline, evaluate the employee; and would create a conflict between the city’s interest and their own, according to municipal personnel policy.
The son disclosed his relationship to the assistant business administrator in his job application.
The business administrator is the appointing authority in the city. It’s also the office that enforces the residency requirement and approves overtime. The assistant business administrator is in charge of approving overtime, according to a memo circulated last month.
It isn’t clear whether the hiring violates the city’s nepotism policy.
Hirschmanner declined to comment about the residency rule or the nepotism policy. She referred questions to her attorney Lisa Fittipaldi.
Fittipaldi could not be reached for comments on Monday.
Sayegh did not respond to a message seeking his comments for this story.
Sayegh has faced criticism from council members since taking office for hiring and promoting non-residents.
Council members were surprised by the assistant business administrator’s son’s hiring.
“That’s ridiculous,” said councilman Luis Velez, vice chairman of the public works committee. “I can’t believe this.”
Velez said the position could have been filled by a local resident.
Hirschmanner, the assistant business administrator, is facing scrutiny over her own residency. Another employee, Lydia Rosario, who wanted the assistant business administrator job, alleges Hirschmanner does not live in Paterson.
Hirschmanner has denied the allegation and has stated she does live in Paterson.