It's been a rough week for Village Manager Ken Gabbert. On Monday, Patch broke the news the council majority will call for Gabbert to resign his post on Wednesday night. Now, Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan is getting in on the action.
Donovan sent a sharply-worded letter to her former ally on Tuesday, slamming him for collecting a stipend as a part-time utility commissioner and demanding his resignation.
Last week it was revealed that in 2012. Donovan, who like Gabbert is a Republican, claims he agreed not to collect the stipend when appointed last spring.
"In doing so you have violated the trust placed in you by me, your colleages in the Northwest Mayors Association, the Village of Ridgewood and your fellow commissioners whom I appointed and who enthusiastically agreed to serve as volunteers," Donovan wrote. "Moreover, you violated the trust of the ratepayers and taxpayers of Bergen County who elected me to eliminate cronyism and abuse."
Gabbert has defended accepting the stipend, noting he's legally allowed to collect the annual $5,000 payment. A superior court judge ruled anyone appointed to the commission after his June ruling would not be eligible to collect health benefits or paid stipents. Gabbert's appointment predated the ruling.
He did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday night.
It appears unlikely Donovan can fire Gabbert. Her attempted ousting of seven NBCUA commissioners last year was overturned by the judge.
Last Wednesday, Donovan's veto of the utility board's minutes was overrided by the freeholder board. The commissioners will continue to collect although Donovan plans on appealing the judicial ruling.
"I was elected to break up the status quo and institute an era of good government built upon a foundation of taxpayer friendly public policy," the county executive wrote in her letter to Gabbert.
"It was a government of which I thought you wanted to be a part. Why would I think otherwise when your letter requesting appointment ended with the following...'wherever you need an ally for service'? By this letter I am requesting your resignation to be tendered immediately. I wish you well in your future endeavors."
A copy of the letter has been attached to the right of this article.