Seems as though last Friday, October 4th, was Middletown CFO Nick Trasente’s last day on the job.
There was a resolution ( see below) adopted at the Township Committee’s Workshop meeting this past Monday night, October 7th, which states that he has agreed to work on an interim basis – at $80 per hour for up to 10 hours per week – until January 31, 2014.
We are told that Trasente, who had been Township CFO since March 2010 and was earning close to $143K a year, resigned to take a job with Somerset County.
There was a sugary article in Tuesday’s APP about it with accolades from the mayor for Trasente, whom we are told simply left for an opportunity that better suited him.
However, there’s reason to suspect there may be more to the story than just the usual departure for greener pastures.
It was recently revealed on this blog that Trasente lied in a May 10, 2013 memo he sent to Township Committeeman Fiore. Trasente implied that the Township’s accounting system had been updated timely to reflect accurate library reserves when it was not. Trasente’s claim was repeated by Fiore himself in an email Fiore sent to the library board on May 14th, an email Fiore has done his best to downplay.
In a comment submitted to my Sept. 12, 2013 blog post “No Action Taken At Last Night's Library Board Meeting”, Linda Baum stated:
“It has occurred to me that when he wrote his May 10th memo to Committeeman Fiore implying that the Edmunds accounting system was updated in 2012, CFO Nick Trasente had to have known that wasn’t true. He had to have known because this year’s delay followed similar lengthy delays for at least the two prior years. He had to have known because repeated appeals from library staff to move the money into a spending account visible on the accounting system would have tipped him off. He had to have known as a result of the late April communication between his office and the library which led to the system update. So when he wrote his May 10th memo implying the system was updated in 2012, he knowingly lied. He lied to an elected official no less.”
Baum questioned why we weren’t hearing anything about Trasente’s firing given the seriousness of his offense.
And now just a few short weeks later….
RESOLUTION NO. 13-246
TOWNSHIP OF MIDDLETOWN
COUNTY OF MONMOUTH
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING INTERIM CFO APPOINTMENT AND AGREEMENT
WHEREAS, the Township’s Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) has secured employment with another large government entity commencing effective October 7, 2013, and has offered in the interim to assist the Township on a limited part-time basis while seeking a new CFO; and
WHEREAS, the Township Administrator has negotiated the terms of an Agreement with the Township’s former CFO to continue to serve as the Township’s CFO for an interim basis through January 31, 2014; and
WHEREAS, the services of a certified municipal chief financial officer are required until the position can be filled on a permanent basis.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Middletown in the County of Monmouth, State of New Jersey that the Mayor is hereby authorized and directed to execute an Agreement with former Township Chief Financial Officer Nicola Trasante to serve as the Township’s Interim Chief Financial Officer on a part-time basis for up to 10 hours per week at a rate of $80 per hour for a term commencing on October 7, 2013 and ending on January 31, 2014 unless and until extended by mutual agreement, if needed, subject only to certification of the availability of funds for the same.