Monday, April 21, 2014

Hamilton Township Committeewoman Files Lawsuit Against Administrator, Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Employee

Committeewoman Aline Dix
On April 17, 2014 a lawsuit was filed in Atlantic County Superior Court by Pitman based Attorney Sebastian Ionna on behalf of Hamilton Township Committeewoman Aline Dix. The lawsuit was filed against Township Administrator Michael S. Jacobs, Mayor Roger Silva, Deputy Mayor Amy Gatto and Mary Kelly from Human Resources.

Dix was elected to Hamilton Township Committee in November 2011 and alleges in the verified complaint that she was retaliated against and further violated of her substantive rights under the New Jersey Constitution and New Jersey Statues. Dix also alleges the retaliation has created a hostile and retaliatory work environment. 

According to the complaint, Dix alleged the retaliation even resorted to a letter being issued on March 19, 2014 by Township Administrator Michael Jacobs, imposing conditions such as: Dix would not be permitted to enter the Township building unless she provides 24-hour notice prior to her reason for visit to Lisa Marcologo, who is the Administrators Executive Assistant. 

Dix was also ordered to no longer have any contact with Township employees and all business requests should be directed via email to Jacobs and the Township Attorney. According to the letter, Dix was also barred from discussing this order, also described as an "approved accommodation" with anyone as it would be strictly prohibited by law. 

Dix has been vocal about Hamilton Township government and operations since before she was elected to Hamilton Township Committee. Dix carried the vocalness over to her position as a Committeewoman in order to assure government accountability. Dix's voice has created controversy within the Committee and Administration to the point that the Township paid to have a "Confidential Report" prepared against Dix for the various issues she has raised. Dix alleges the complaints against her were conspired in an effort to retaliate for her conduct under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA).

The confidential report dated February 20, 2014 was prepared by James R. Birchmeier, Esq., who is listed as serving as the Township's Conflict Labor Counsel. Galloway Township News has obtained a copy of the confidential report which lists the individuals interviewed and their said complaints against Dix. Those individuals include employees of Hamilton Township. 

The report was prepared for the sole consideration as a "fact finding" mission and for recommendations on how the Township should proceed regarding certain confidential and potential legal claims regarding and arising out of allegations against Dix. Although the report is detailed, the findings show that a formal investigation against Dix, is not warranted. 

Galloway Township News will have a detailed report of the complaint and will also release the Confidential Report of employees complaints in an upcoming story. Check back for details. 


Gary Stein said...

Dix's chances at winning re-election were nil since the "machine" had her running "off the column" in the primary in June. She knew she couldn't win so she dropped out of primary. In any other state but ours, there is NO COLUMN! this lawsuit may have been avoided. What am I talking about? Read ....

Anonymous said...

What statute prevents Aileen from talking About An issue directly affecting her?

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