I left out the office politics. This isn't about Java versus Perl in the workplace though it very much might be for this one developer. Read my reply here for more information. While it isn't my job to write code (at least not on a day to day basis), I do try and help out the contractors when I can. In this particular case, my help was only wanted if the problem was insignificant.
The more jobs I have, the more I realize with very few exceptions there is always some kind of office politics motivating most people's actions at work (and sometimes even outside of work). This has proven to be the case in the small companies (3-10 employees) to the large companies (4,000-10,000 employees) and all the sizes in between.
I would still wonder why they'd ask you (the guy with the non-programming title) to solve a "simple" task with an "inferior" language. It could just be the contractor wants to show in his own mind that your company needs him, or it could be something more complex. I'd dig a little deeper and watch out for any rumors.
Again Good Luck.
On the bright side, your question has helped me fix a problem I was having. Thanks!