A long-time civic honcho’s future as Community Board 6’s highest-paid staffer will be determined when he returns from a several-month unpaid leave of absence related to his two stalking arrests earlier this year, according to the advisory panel’s chairman.
“Our district manager is expected to end his leave towards the end of this month. At that time, the committee will have its first opportunity to sit down with him … and discuss the best options for the functioning of the board going forward,” said Sayar Lonial, reading from a prepared statement at Wednesday’s full board meeting, the panel’s first since its summer recess.
Craig Hammerman — who has served on CB6 since 1990 and receives a $112,000 yearly salary in his current role of district manager — was arrested twice in March: once for allegedly using his ex-girlfriend’s Uber account to track her to a Bedford-Stuyvesant hotel, and once for violating a protection order preventing him from approaching her. He began his leave of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act on May 17 in order to “get his head together,” according to his attorney, who has spoken for him since his arrests.
CB6’s Finance, Personnel, and Law Committee spent the summer in closed-door meetings with the city’s Law Department discussing what to do with the embattled district manager. The deliberations resulted in the creation of a job description for the his position, which will be used as a rubric for deciding Hammerman’s future with the panel, according to Lonial.
“We determined the best path forward was to memorialize the proper role of the district manager when we created a job description for the position,” he said.
But the chairman’s statement came as a disappointment to some board members looking for new information on the Hammerman’s status following the panel’s summer break.
“I was quite honestly looking for a little more information, and felt that, at this point, it was my due,” said CB6’s Josh Skaller.
The board member asked Lonial twice to clarify the panel’s position and his prepared statement on Hammerman, which Skaller said was unclear, but the chairman refused to offer any information beyond his prepared remarks. He also declined requests for comment from the Brooklyn Paper.
Skaller wasn’t the only one confused by Lonial’s statement. Another board member, Paul Basile, also said he did not understand what the chairman meant when he said, “memorialize the proper role of the district manager.”
But Basile also said he is less concerned about Hammerman’s employment, noting the community hasn’t suffered because of his absence, and that other staff members have done a fine job picking up the slack.
And it is unlikely that Lonial will expand on his prepared statement about Hammerman’s job, according to the chairman of CB6’s Finance, Personnel, and Law Committee, because he is being coached by the city’s Law Department on how to address the situation.
“We have to work within the confines of what the New York City Law Department has given us as to what we can do or say,” said Jerry Armer.
The Finance, Personnel, and Law Committee is expected to formally adopt Hammerman’s job description at a meeting next week, and the written expectations of the district manager should be publicly available shortly thereafter, Armer said.