Friday, July 19, 2024
HomeDoverMayor Dodd Responds Regarding Former Town Administrator DeCroce

Mayor Dodd Responds Regarding Former Town Administrator DeCroce

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Dear Residents of Dover,

On June 21, 2024, the Town of Dover received notice that the former Town Administrator, Betty Lou Decroce, would be filing a 15 million dollar lawsuit against the Town of Dover. The tort claims notice from the former administrator is entirely baseless and contains false allegations against the Town and me. The tort claims notice is nothing less than an attempted money grab by a public official who presided over herself obtaining an unearned $60,000 raise to bring her salary over $240,000 per year, making her one of the highest-paid administrators of any town this size throughout the State of New Jersey for a part-time position, which is how she and the prior administration classified her title in the state pension system.

There was absolutely no retaliation in connection with the administrator’s termination. Simply put, while we did not legally need a reason to terminate her employment because she served at the pleasure of the governing body, I will say that her performance was extremely poor and hurt the Town of Dover.

Therefore, we had no choice but to let her go, however this was not done in retaliation as alleged. It was done based on her unlawful and non-compliant practices and inability to perform.

Town of Dover former Town Administrator, BettyLou DeCroce

Ms. DeCroce’s defamation claims are similar, without any basis in reality. Ms. DeCroce confirms in her tort claims notice what I said on May 7, 2024: that, in her entire career, no town besides Dover had ever appointed her to serve in the statutory position of municipal administrator. By pointing only to her tenure as a deputy in a state agency, Ms. DeCroce confirmed in her tort claim notice she had never been responsible for running the day-to-day affairs of a municipality such as Dover, which is guided by the complex rules laid out by the New Jersey Civil Service Commission. DeCroce does not refute the May 7 statement made by a Councilman present during the prior administration that Mayor Blackman and the previous Council were on the brink of terminating DeCroce’s employment and would have done so had I not been elected. Thus, the prior administration agreed with me regarding Ms. DeCroce’s proven inability to perform the duties of Town Administrator in an adequate manner.

The Town will vigorously defend any legal action she brings concerning this matter. If DeCroce brings to a court the meritless allegations of defamation as set out in her tort claims act notice, the town will explore frivolous litigation penalties under the newly enacted anti-SLAPP Act.

Mayor James P. Dodd

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Frank Cahill
Frank Cahillhttps://www.frankcahill.com
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since January 1, 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town, and Chairman of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board. Owner of the Morris now app serving small business in Morris County.
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