Jersey City councilman terminated from county job

JERSEY CITY — As a result of an investigation done by Hudson County Improvement Authority, Jersey City Councilman Khemraj “Chico” Ramchal has been terminated from a county job he has held since 2008.
Paul Swibinski, a spokesperson for the HCIA, said that HCIA CEO Norman Guerra informed Ramchal about his termination on Tuesday, effective immediately.
However, Ramchal, according to sources close to him, was not aware of his termination until announced on Wednesday. “I still have not received any official document from the HCIA as of today,” Ramchal said Wednesday afternoon.
Ramchal’s salary at time of termination was $49,923.
Swibinski said the decision was based on the findings of an independent attorney retained to review the relevant documents. Ramchal, however, was not interviewed by the counsel.
The HCIA began its investigation of Ramchal in April after GPS records for his city-issued car did not match work places Ramchal listed on his timesheets.
When asked about the matter, Mayor Steven Fulop said he would not speculate on Ramchal’s fate, noting that there is a process that determines guilt.
Fulop also would not speculate on Ramchal’s fate as a councilman. Last month, Ramchal told the Jersey City Reporter that he did not intend to vacate his council seat. Ramchal represents Ward B and his term expires in 2017. Ramchal became involved in an accident involving his county vehicle on March 14, for which he was later charged with assault.
Investigators allege that Ramchal was driving a city vehicle while intoxicated. The crash resulted in bodily injury to a passenger in the vehicle that was struck.
Ramchal was suspended after the accident. He has pleaded not guilty to charges, and has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of his case.

© 2000, Newspaper Media Group