EO City Council votes to extend Coley’s acting status by 45 days

EAST ORANGE, NJ — East Orange City Council voted at its regular meeting on Monday, March 26, to extend acting Public Safety Department Director Sheilah Coley’s temporary appointment by another 45 days.

“Director Coley got another 45 days in an acting capacity,” said East Orange City Clerk Cynthia Brown on Tuesday, April 3.

East Orange Mayor Ted Green appointed Coley, the city’s first black female director of the Public Safety Department, to serve as acting director of that department Monday, Jan. 1, and the council approved the appointment that same day.

Alicia Holman, the 5th Ward councilwoman, confirmed that Coley was given a job extension. “We just gave her another 45 days,” said Holman on Tuesday, April 3. “After that, that’s it. She doesn’t get another extension.”

According to state law and the Faulkner Act, all appointed department heads and city employees “serve at the pleasure of the mayor,” with the consent and approval of city council.

Usually, a mayor hires or appoints a department head, the council approves the appointment and the appointee serves in an “acting” capacity for as long as 90 days before council gives final approval for regular full-time capacity. More often than not, the council approves the mayor’s choice and the acting appointment turns into a permanent appointment.

But sometimes council doesn’t approve the move from acting to full-time director and the mayor has to either appoint someone else to position or ask the council for an extension. Green asked the council for a 45-day extension for Coley and the majority approved.

Amy Lewis, serves the 1st Ward councilwoman, chairwoman of the Public Safety Committee and the council’s official liaison to the Public Safety Department. She could not be reached for comment about the vote to extend Coley’s employment by press time this week.

Councilman Romal Bullock of the 2nd Ward, currently presides over all of the council’s meetings, in addition to being an ex-officio member of all its committees. He was also unavailable for comment about Coley’s job extension by press time this week.