Former Construction Official Sues City
Al Arezzo worked for the city for 39 years before his termination in 2011.
Former Construction Code Officer Al Arezzo is suing the city, the mayor and other city officials, claiming he was unlawfully terminated after a 39-year-career in City Hall.
The suit was filed in Superior Court on Dec. 22, 2011, according to the complaint, which also alleges that Arezzo was "harassed." The complaint specifically mentions Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Business Administrator Arch Liston and Assistant Corporation Counsel Melissa Longo.
According to the complaint, Arezzo was suspended on Jan. 5, 2011. That same week, the locks on Arezzo's office were changed. Arezzo is now suing for punitive damages, lawyer costs as well as his job back. The construction office is responsible for all construction permits in Hoboken.
According to the complaint, Arezzo was suspended after not completing a mandatory anti-sexual harassment course in late 2010 and early 2011. The complaint claims that Arezzo was unable to attend the course on the scheduled times, because the state mandated he had to be in the office at those times.
On Dec. 23, 2010, Liston sent Arezzo a memo and threatened him with disciplinary action, according to the complaint. The complaint also alleges that Liston "threatened" Arezzo when he, and his staff, didn't complete the training. The complaint claims also that no alternate dates to take the training—which wouldn't interfere with the construction office's hours—were presented to Arezzo.
Zimmer declined to comment on ongoing litigation.
Arezzo, who started working for the city in 1972, was a civil service employee. His name is still painted on the window in City Hall's construction office.