Berkeley Board President Takes Leave From Township Job To Work For MacArthur

Sources say job being held open for seven months

by Patricia A. Miller

Township Recreation Department employee Noriko Kowalewski, the president of the Berkeley Board of Education, has taken a leave of absence from her municipal job to work on multimillionaire Tom MacArthur's Congressional campaign, sources say.

Kowalewski - who was hired after Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. took office - is also an official in the Berkeley Township Republican Organization and was the treasurer for the "Amato Team" candidates in the 2013 municipal and school board elections.

Kowalewski's phone number is unlisted. She could not be reached for comment.

Her job as a clerk typist in the Recreation Department is being held open for her for the next seven months, with no replacement during the duration of the leave, sources say.

Just who granted Kowalewski the leave is unclear.

Amato and Township Administrator Christopher Reid did not return repeated e-mails for comment. Recreation Superintendent Timothy Yurcisin did not return a phone call Thursday and left the office early on Friday. Township Attorney Lauren R. Staiger said she wasn't sure if a leave had to be approved by the Township Council in a personnel resolution. Township Clerk Beverly Carle referred questions to Reid.

Do you think a township employee should be granted a leave of absence to work on a political campaign? Tell us in the comments below:

Natty Bumppo April 26, 2014 at 09:07 AM
So a municipal employee, who is a political hack, is given a leave of absence to go work on political campaign for the next seven month. Doesn't quite fall into the legal definition of Leave of Absence. If this hack is getting paid by either Berkeley, while on leave, or her NEW employer, a political campaign, then it rises even more questions. I'm sure Gilmore has figured out how to walk the legal tightrope. In the end, it certainly demonstrates the department can function without her. I'm sure we have not seen the end of this story.
voice of reason April 26, 2014 at 12:35 PM
Unbelievable who ever is doing the typing for the next 7 months should continue to do so after that. With bennies and salary we could save some taxpayer $$$$
Mortimer Snerd April 26, 2014 at 03:45 PM
She's feeding from at least public troughs. Taxpayers, aren't all those political connections enough for you to vote the "same old, same old" out of office and get fresh blood to actually WORK for the public?
Paint April 26, 2014 at 09:56 PM
Typical of this town


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