Linden Mayor Attempts To Cut City’s Legal Department

LINDEN – Mayor Richard Gerbounka vetoed an ordinance to re-appoint assistant city attorney John Hudak, saying that Linden spends too much on an overstaffed legal department.

“I feel we have an excessive amount of lawyers in our legal department,” Gerbounka wrote in a letter to the city clerk rejecting the ordinance passed by the council on Feb. 16.


Council President Robert Bunk led the 7-4 council vote to approve the ordinance, which was opposed by two Democrats—Derek Armstead and Jack Sheehy—and two independent councilmen—Joe Harvanik, Robert Fraiser.

Hudak is one of three part-time city attorneys, earning a salary of $71,822 and benefits that bring his total compensation to $102,464. City Attorney Edwin Kologi earns $130,749 in salary and benefits, and a second assistant city attorney earns $97,547 in salary and benefits.

The lawyer’s son, Christopher Hudak, who is the chairman of Linden’s Democratic Party, has selected Council President Robert Bunk to run against Gerbounka for mayor, although there is considerable opposition to that maneuver within the Democratic Party (see related story).

The mayor’s veto sends the ordinance back to the council, where eight votes are necessary to override it. However, it does not eliminate the position or remove Hudak from the city payroll.

According to Kologi, the original ordinance appointing Hudak states that he will remain in the position “until his successor or successors has been appointed.”

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1 comment for “Linden Mayor Attempts To Cut City’s Legal Department

  1. rhashonna
    March 8, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    All city employees should be accountable. If a productivity log is requested to ensure that the tax payers are getting their money worth there should be no problem from the employee. Regardless of your position or job title every city employee is accountable for 8 hours per day (average) of real work! Why do these elected official side with the employee? POLITICS. They are not concerned about the people of Linden just the politics.
    It is time for a change. Vote June 8, 2010 Democrats for change.

    Rhashonna Cosby-Hurling for 5th Ward Councilwoman

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