Mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration’s controversially hired personnel officer Jerrell Antley is leaving after just 11 months on the job, according to municipal sources.
Antley did not give the customary two-week notice, according to sources. His sudden departure was defended by personnel director Michele Rawls in a message to Sayegh.
Rawls’ message states Antley is returning to East Orange. He was accepted to that city’s firefighter class for 2019.
“This short notice is not his fault at all,” defended Rawls, “as he did not expect to be reached until Class of 2020. However, several vacancies developed and they were able to reach him after all.”
Antley began working for $55,000 on Dec. 18, 2018. His hiring occurred at a time Sayegh’s business administrator Vaughn McKoy had sent out a memorandum to all employees to give up two weeks of pay to resolve a budget crisis.
Council members at the time slammed the mayor and his administration for the hire. Some also criticized the Sayegh administration for hiring a non-resident in contravention of the city’s residency ordinance.
“All I ask is in the future the administration should hire by the ordinance and hire people from Paterson,” said councilman Flavio Rivera, chairman of the personnel committee.
“That’s what happens when you have people that don’t love Paterson,” said councilman Luis Velez.
Velez said it wasn’t a good fit. He also though the short notice was “irresponsible.”
Antley previously worked as a personnel clerk and personnel aide in East Orange. Before his hiring, the Sayegh administration hired his boss, Rawls. She then hired Antley.
Sayegh could not be reached for comments on Thursday morning.
“Jerrell will be sorely missed by all of us, but please join me in congratulating him as he embarks on this new career path,” wrote Rawls.
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