Michele's New County Job

In today's Hudson Reporter online:
Michele Russo, the mother of current 3rd Ward Councilman Michael Russo and the wife of former Hoboken Mayor Anthony Russo, has just been hired for a county job replacing the outgoing head of housekeeping at the County Plaza building in Jersey City.

County sources confirmed on Tuesday that she was hired to fill a manager-level post at the county.

Russo was ordered by the state Board of Education to be censured when she was on the Hoboken school board in 2002, and her name was brought up in an FBI investigation into local towing contracts in 2006. She has long been heavily involved in Hoboken political campaigns.
Well, GA wasn't surprised that Michelle Russo may have called in a favor after her sick husband, former Mayor Anthony Russo,  was removed from the City's health insurance rolls last March. You may recall a 10-year 'oversight' that had taxpayers footing the bill for his health benefits.

Well, who doesn't need health insurance?  Which comes with a County job.

So her new position is head of housekeeping in the Jersey City building that, according to the above promotional material, houses 1/3 of the County's employees which include  the Sheriff’s office, operations division, patrol and 911, the health clinic and the Rutgers co-op program. , the Department of Family Services, County Clerk, County Register, Board of Elections, Director of Public Resources, Tax Assessment, County Surrogate, Court Administration, Building Services and Maintenance and Facility Management.

That's a lot of house to keep- 340,000 square feet of house.  It's much easier to keep house in my 1,100 square foot place, but then the pay stinks.

I wonder what the County pays?

Well, no big shock for GA that an ├╝ber-connected gal like Russo lassos a County job.  One can assume if a job wasn't already there, one would be created for her.  Hudson County business-as-usual. Why is anyone surprised?

It's the timing that's interesting.

You-know-who is in town, investigating (presumably) you-know-who.

And it looks like Attorney General Dow has put her thumb down on Hudson County and is squeezing local police and prosecutors to take action on corruption right under their nose, the kind they may have 'missed'  before. Case in point: last week's arrest of a West New York official for authorizing payments for no-show jobs.

From The Hudson Reporter:
Tim Nagurka, the town’s Recreation Director, has been released on $10,000 bail after being charged with fourth degree theft of services and falsifying records in connection with an alleged no-show jobs scheme.

Nagurka is charged with allegedly authorizing payments totaling over $15,000 to employees that never showed up to work since the beginning of the year, according to West New York Police Director Michael Indri.

The arrest of the director came two days after the arrest of department employees Ramon Felix and David Almonte. The two other employees were also released on bail, according to Indri.
My lawyer friend- not Not-Stempler- observed that law enforcement clamping  down on Hudson County's business-as-usual signaled the impact of the the state's oversight. In other words, people are being watched.

Like Michelle Russo.

So the circumstances around how she got the job, and whatever the job is (real vs. the no-show variety),  won't escape the scrutiny of the state and possibly the U.S. attorney.  Then perhaps the tentacles of this investigation will reach outside of Hoboken and into the County.


  1. now that she has a job, will she start paying back her husband's 10 years of health expenses, and that $300K fine to the city? her son makes a big show out of lowering a clerk's salary by $10k to save the taxpayer money, how come no one is going after $400K from the russos?

  2. Here's the short answer JAM: NO!

  3. Wouldn't the Manager of Housekeeping - i.e. Russo - have a master key to the building with access to all rooms? You simply can't make up stuff like this! Only in Hudson County ...

  4. Of course, HR... she'd have free access to tenants like the Board of Elections.

  5. Why the big career change? What happened to her run-away success as a real estate agent? I suppose you could say something similar to this to many county hires, even in management, but especially in a slow economy, wouldn't you think a hire for a management position in housekeeping services have a background in, um, let's say housekeeping services? Or possibly management? Or something similar? Maybe her "behind the scenes" work for the Old Guard machine is considered management experience? Anyone?

  6. C'mon P1y...you know MR has stellar "management skills" for a County job. "Shrewd" (then minus the "d") being especially apropos. (Good skills for real estate too, BTW!) On the application, I wonder who was listed under "references"? If you think of the Russo dynasty as the petty-Borgias* of Hoboken, she does know how to keep a "house" in order.
    *(apologies to the Borgias)

    MBB's recurring chant: More Sisyphean Sociopathy!

    Speaking of which & re JAM's point....
    Stating the obvious, the "oversight" regarding Anthony's health insurance benefits seems clearly actionable.

    This isn't breaking news after all. Who in City Hall was responsible for monitoring the Russo benefits that continued after Anthony's felony conviction? What "corrective action" has been taken regarding this "oversight"? Is the same individual still employed at City Hall? However bureaucratically onerous, there are civil service procedures that apply to the offending employee(s). And to Russo, since he ostensibly received coverage as a retired public servant. Is this possibly subsumed in the FBI's investigation?


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