Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hudson Reporter Police Poll - Mugged!

The Hudson Reporter has a poll up on whether the public sides with Mayor Zimmer's plan for the Hoboken Police Department or the Hoboken PBA.  Yesterday, the Mayor had a significant lead but the poll's total votes was in the range of just several hundred.

Da Horsey noted to folks that lead would not last with a late push to get the PBA numbers up and so it has.  But it's been an astronomical effort.  There's been thousands of views overnight along with votes pushing the union's lead well ahead.

Take a look for yourself and vote if you like.  MSV notes that the voting function is not restricted to one vote per user.  So it appears some folks have had a very busy night.  Click, click, and clickety click to you.

Paul Swibinski, please take a bow.

Paul Swibinski (r) last fall led Beth Mason's second mayoral run.  He's now been hired by the Hoboken PBA

Lt. Andriani terminated - Mayor gets it retroactive to 2008

The Lt. Angelo Andriani case is finally over with Mayor Zimmer notifying the City Council of his termination in a memorandum scheduled for release at the next City Council meeting. The termination however doesn't match the date of the meeting or even the letter - it's retroactive to 2008!


After a lengthy process and approval of the Hudson County Superior Court approval, Lt. Andriani of the Hoboken Swat fiasco fame can move on to bigger and better things. Most recently, he was arrested at the Tampa Airport last January for disorderly conduct and impersonating a police officer. He had been on a paid suspension from the Hoboken Police force for more than two years.


It's not clear how the retroactive termination will impact payments made during that time but at a City Council meeting Corporation Counsel Michael Kates did not rule out seeking to recover those payments. MSV will look to confirm the city's decision in that regard.


In an internal report issued back in May 2008 on the Swat case, the following major points were highlighted. Carmen LaBruno was the Police Chief at the time, husband of former City Councilwoman Terry LaBruno:

*"Andriani did whatever he wanted with respect to the administration and operation of the unit," which he was in charge of since 1991 when the newly appointed LaBruno granted permission to form the SWAT team."

*"The SWAT team rendered virtually no meaningful services to the city" and the services it did perform such as providing security during the World Cup and two trips to Louisiana "did not benefit any business, resident or taxpayer of the City of Hoboken."

*"The Hoboken SWAT unit was more than a waste of money and/or time. The unit's operations either directly or indirectly let (sic) to several acts of misconduct engaged in principally by Andriani."

*Chief Carmen LaBruno "permitted Andriani to keep the SWAT bus at his home in Verona, New Jersey and work from home," where police officers worked on Andriani's boat and SWAT bus while being paid by the city.

*"'Working outside of Hoboken gave Andriani a license to have the police officers engage in private work for Andriani while the were being paid by the city."

*Andriani and LaBruno entered into a "secret" and "illegal" verbal agreement in the guise of aiding the SWAT operation, where Andriani allowed the police department to use his boat. But the "contract was not submitted to the City Council as required by law. The city received not benefits whatsoever. LaBruno let Andriani use the City's dock, which cost $15,000 for Andriana's boating pleasure."

*LaBruno allowed Andriani to collect SWAT dues through members' paycheckd without exercising "any oversight" on how the funds were spent.

*La Bruno allowed Andriani to use the SWAT funds to pay for the chief's trip for the Maddi Gras trip in 2006, stopping off at Houston where his family was on vacation.

The report also details the circumstances of the two trips to Louisiana after Katrina in the fall of 2005 and for Mardi Gras in early 2006, which led to infamous pictures of Hooter's waitresses, handling SWAT weapons for the camera..

The report, while showing that La Bruno had intervened to prevent disciplinary action against Andriani, also criticizes four police officers for allowing Andriani's misconduct as a "racist, liar and cheat" to continue longer than it should by not reporting until it was reported to Internal Affairs in Oct. 15, 2007.
LaBruno , 59, will retire shortly with an estimated $147,555 annual pension, plus a one-time payment of between $275,000 and $375,000, as per his contract with the city. That includes compensation for 150 unused vacation days and $150,000 in termination pay.
Lt. Angelo Andriani (c) in better times helping Hooters girls play with guns
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Correction: Former City Councilwoman Terry LaBruno is not married to Carmen LaBruno but a former Hoboken Fireman. Carmen La Bruno is her brother-in-law.

MSV apologizes for the error.