A West New York plumbing sub-code official has been working five other gigs for five other towns in New Jersey, and doing a damn fine job. According to the Star-Ledger, 47-year-old Frank Recanati called in sick 31 times at his West New York job from January 2010 through November 2011, and violated his union agreement by working in Carlstadt, East Rutherford, Hasbrouk Heights, Guttenberg, and Wallington instead. Apparently he's pretty good at it. "I haven't heard any complaints about him," West New York mayor Felix Roque said. "So if he could handle it, I don't care if Frank has 10 jobs."
True, Recanati netted $5,450 in sick pay for his part-time gig in West New York (employees who work more than 25 hours a week are entitled to the same benefits as full-time employees) when presumably he wasn't sick, but he received "high marks" from all his employers. Guttenberg's mayor says, "I have never heard a complaint about Mr. Recanati." Carlstadt's mayor says that the "feedback" he gets "is that [Recanati] does a very good job." East Rutherford's town counsel adds, "He fulfills his obligations here. We've never had an issue with Mr. Recanati."
Recanati responded to the allegations thusly: "In 2010 and 2011, I started my day working in Bergen County. There were plenty of times when I called out of West of New York due to lingering issues with my back or kidney stones." Or maybe from exhaustion from working six jobs?
In 2011 Recanati earned $131,455 from all six towns, but some of that will likely be clawed back. "Only in New Jersey ... I mean who has seven jobs?" Jerry Cantrell, the head of the NJ Taxpayers Alliance says. "This is a clear abuse of the public trust. I think the taxpayers should be appropriately outraged to hear this kind of abuse." Mayor Roque says he is launching an "internal investigation" into the matter. Meanwhile our sources tell us that folk songs are already being written about Frank "The Octopus" Recanati, who, as legend has it, could inspect a building blindfolded.