NJ lawmaker gets kicked out of his day job — political retribution, he says
🔵 A Democratic lawmaker has lost his job as a longshoreman
🔵 Waterfront regulators said he missed too many workdays
🔵 Assemblyman Sampson says the commission retaliated because Gov. Murphy wants them disbanded
BAYONNE — A first-term legislator was booted from his job as a longshoreman after using his office as a reason for not showing up to work. But the Hudson County Democrat says the move was political revenge.
The Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor said Assemblyman William Sampson was let go for “failing to meet the work and work availability requirements in January-June 2022."
The Bayonne resident said that his presence at meetings or events as an assemblyman was “good cause” to miss work.
🔵 Sampson's job before he was elected
Sampson had worked for GCT Bayonne and was a member of the International Longshoreman’s Association Local 1588. Sampson was part of the union leadership but never held political office before his election to the Legislature.
The commission said Sampson failed to present evidence to back his reasoning and admitted he could have attended some event and still worked. Sampson also told the commission he used his office as a reason to not be available for work but not for any particular reason.
The vote by the commission was unanimous.
🔵 What is the Waterfront Commission?
The agency was established in 1953 as a way to investigate and deter criminal activity and influence on the New Jersey and New York waterfronts. The commission also works to ensure fair employment practices.
Sampson told NJ Globe that the commission is taking out its frustrations on him over Gov. Phil Murphy’s attempts to shut the commission in the belief it has outlived its usefulness and that New Jersey State Police could take on their responsibilities.
“I along with the ILA International will be working to appeal this decision to allow me to continue working in the industry as I have my whole life. I believe that this decision is not only legally incorrect but contains numerous factual errors," Sampson said in a statement to the site.
The U.S. Supreme Court will likely decide the commission's fate in 2023.