Paterson school district’s chief lawyer getting $29,500 on top of $265,000 contract | Paterson Times Paterson Times

Paterson school district’s chief lawyer getting $29,500 on top of $265,000 contract

By Jayed Rahman
Published: May 22, 2020


School board members have approved a measure to increase the district’s general counsel Robert Murray’s $265,000 contract by $29,500.

Murray’s total pay for the year is now $294,500. Contract increase was approved in a 5-1 vote on Wednesday.

School board member Emanuel Capers questioned the contract increase last week.

“Why are we adding more money?” asked Capers.

“$265,000 wasn’t enough,” answered assistant superintendent Luis Rojas.

“Why wasn’t it enough money?” asked Capers. He said Murray’s contract was for the entire 2019-2020 school year.

Rojas said Murray has been handling both inside and outside legal work for the district. He is paid an hourly rate, said Rojas. He said the $29,500 increase will get the general counsel through the rest of May and June.

Capers sought a justification for the contract increase from superintendent Eileen Shafer.

Capers was the sole vote against the contract increase on Wednesday. Board members Vincent Arrington, Jonathan Hodges, Manny Martinez, Nakima Redmon, and Kenneth Simmons voted in favor.

School board members also increased the contract for Apruzzese, McDermott, Mastro & Murphy by $45,000. The firm received an $80,000 contract last May. The latest increase boosts its contract to $125,000.

Last October, the school board awarded a $75,000 contract to Murray’s wife, Karen Murray.

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