Lydia Robles lacks 21 accounting credits needed for auditor post | Paterson Times

Lydia Robles lacks 21 accounting credits needed for auditor post


Failed mayoral candidate Lydia Robles who was hired in October after she dropped out of last year’s mayoral election to endorse mayor Jose “Joey” Torres did not meet basic education requirement for the city auditor job, reveals her college transcript.

Robles needed 21 accounting credits to meet the New Jersey Civil Service Commission auditor title requirements. Her transcript, released by the city through an Open Public Records Act requests, lists zero accounting courses. The closest to accounting courses Robles took were basic statistics and math reasoning. She also took foundation of Spanish, Spanish II, basic acting, music fundamentals, among other courses.

Business administrator Nellie Pou said the city will immediately change Robles’ title from auditor to program analyst to adhere to civil service regulations. The program analyst title requires a bachelor’s degree and no additional educational requirements, said Pou.

“She will be performing the job of a program analyst which is identical and similar in the nature of assessing and analyzing programs and providing us with those financial analytical work,” said Pou.

Robles has been reviewing PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreements the city has with various entities which requires good observation and math skills, but not necessarily full-blown auditor capabilities, according to city officials.

“I don’t know if she’s acting in a positon as an auditor in the classic sense of the word; she seems to be doing reviews. I don’t know how they chose that title,” said William McKoy, 3rd Ward councilman. “I just see it as a technical exception and as long as they correct that maybe with a title change that’s all that would be necessary.”

The job title change follows months of media inquiries that prompted civil service to request Robles’ transcript to determine whether she met the basic education requirements for the position.

“I’m surprised because we were told she qualified,” said Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large, when asked whether Robles’ lack of 21 accounting credit came as a surprise. He said when the city initially hired Robles one of his concerns was her credential.

Morris said he raised questions about Robles’ qualifications after reviewing her credentials, but the administration assured she was qualified.

“Hiring any individual without the requisite credentials is actually doing a disservice to people who have the qualifications that could fill the position,” said Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman. “Qualified applicants and the taxpayers are both being short changed.”

Pou did not readily have available the number of people who applied for the auditor position when it was advertised last year; however, she said the 21 accounting credit requirement was not listed on the advertisement. She said no applicant was automatically excluded from the candidate search.

Robles was hired five months after Torres took office. She was hired at a $45,000 salary, according to city records.

Torres referred all questions to the business administrator.

Robles is being recompensed for her endorsement of Torres during an election in which the mayor was an underdog, say critics.

“There are many people who feel it was political pay back,” said Sayegh. “The consensus is that this is painfully obvious: it was political patronage.”

Torres has embraced a number of his erstwhile rivals from last year’s mayoral run. He kept Donna Nelson-Ivy in her position as the city’s health director. Recently, the city hired David Gilmore as contract compliance officer.

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  • Show’nuff

    this writer seems to have something against this lady. sounds suspect that she has a degree and he only writes about acting and music classes – is she an actress, social worker, auditor or a psychologist – maybe a program analyst? Sounds like a well-rounded individual. she probably took physics and the writer didn't write about that or complicated science courses she might have taken in order to make her seem uneducated. shame on you paterson times

    • Show and tell

      I know the folks at Paterson Times very well. They don't take sides and they aren't biased. She clearly don't qualify for this job. Imagine yourself applying for a job and you don't meet the qualifications. Does the company change your title after six months? Of course not you are terminated on the spot for being a bumpkin.

      As a former journalist myself I think the transcript should have been linked from the article like the last story they did on Lydia Robles that included every piece of document. I'd like to see the transcript myself. I'm sure she completed more than five courses. I think you'd have a problem with the story based on preconceived ideas even if just one course was left out. Last I remember in NJ you have to take 180 credits to earn a BA and a course 3-4 credits.

      • http://www.facebook.com/animalabusewar Animal Abuse War

        most places don't hire you to begin with if they find you aren't qualified.most places,unlike Paterson,actually check your credentials BEFORE you even get the job.

  • Craigalwayscares

    These Council People must think we are stupid!

    “There are many people who feel it was political pay back,” said Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman. “The consensus is that this is painfully obvious: it was political patronage.” The beneficiary of political patronage lectures us on what he feels was political payback. "The consensus here is that Andre looks forward to becoming a career politician and it is painfully obvious it will take a lot of political payback on his part to get there."

    “I’m surprised because we were told she qualified,” said Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large. Surprised huh? This guy is always surprised; he was equally as surprised when he won re-election. For a guy who happens to be the smartest "person" on the City Council (that isn't saying much – especially, since the Council gets dumber every election), being surprised must be his kryptonite.

    Maybe the Paterson Times should write a story about how much each Council person and/or their families received in political patronage. At least Lydia did not get the job because of nepotism.

    • SPM

      If you feel that this woman being hired for a job she wasn't qualified for and the city subsequently changing her title instead of firing her is not an absolute farce, you are stupid.

  • ch0k30nm1ba775

    she does not meet the qualifications required by the city. She can have a degree or degrees in many subjects but if she doesnt meet the qualifications stipulated by the city then she does not qualify for the job plain and simple.

  • http://www.facebook.com/animalabusewar Animal Abuse War

    our slogan "Anything goes in Paterson".why the heck are they hiring people BEFORE seeing if they are even qualified?it causes us to wonder how very many others were hired for jobs they weren't qualified for.which would make sense because many of our officials are inept,don't do their jobs,apparently haven't read the laws or they would know what needs enforcing,etc.-
    someone should check each & every employee,ask them to provide proof of their education,credits,etc & then check those with the state to make sure they aren't fraudulent.
    there's so much corruption in this city,favors being done,officials looking the other way, & more.
    i guess they aren't going to check up on themselves or each other,so it's up to us to find the agency that will.

  • SPM

    Impressive transcript, that Spanish I and II must of been quite difficult. Fire this clown immediately.

  • Julio

    What other courses did she take?
    She has a BA and her minor was what? maybe her minor was Spanish?????
    Maybe this lady took Spanish to get better at it, if she needed it – she made a good choice.
    I have heard this lady speak, she is very educated.
    Music? Maybe it was an elective or a class mandated like gym??

  • Google Me

    I almost have my BA in Psychology too and I have to take 2 credit courses to fulfill my requirement to graduate. Will my future bosses hold my 2 credit courses against me and not acknowledge my "Major" classes like this writer did here? That's scary. Maybe I should take up Physics as an elective "for fun" just in case!!!