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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mike Russo responds to father's illegal taxpayer health benefits, demands to know why Mayor conducted audit

Councilman Mike Russo responded with a media statement to Greg Lincoln's press release yesterday saying:

In 2008, I called for an audit to be conducted to determine how many former city employees were receiving health benefits without qualifying for them. Please review video of the meeting where that occurred here.

At the time, Judy Tripodi, the state-appointed fiscal monitor, conducted an investigation and removed several individuals she determined to be unqualified. As the video footage of the meeting shows, then-councilwoman Dawn Zimmer sits silently while I ask questions about the audit. Now, after 19 months as mayor, Dawn Zimmer determines that, two months before an election, she will release the results of a targeted audit that found one individual, in the hopes of scoring political points two days before a $250 a person fundraiser.

Let me repeat. I called for the original audit to determine who was incorrectly receiving health benefits. Mayor Zimmer is using the tactics employed by political bosses everywhere. She uses her office to engage in partisan politics under the guise of governing.
In response to what his personal knowledge is on the taxpayer paid benefits to his father, Anthony Russo is this non-answer assumption followed with an attack:

“According to the audit I asked for, and was presented to the council by Ms. Tripodi, she removed several people from the list. The former mayor was not one of them, so I, and the rest of the council, assumed that everyone not removed from the list, was receiving their benefits properly. I'd like to see the ‘audit’ conducted by the mayor. What was the rationale for ordering it 19 months after taking office?”


Mike Russo laughing it up in Council.  Why not, once again the Russo family gets over on Hoboken taxpayers.
He refused to answer the question on his knowledge about Anthony Russo's illegal health benefits.


Talking Ed Note:  Mike Russo refuses to answer what complicity he has in this insurance fraud perpetuated on Hoboken.  Instead he decides to go on the attack without answering to the charges raised by 3rd ward council challenger Greg Lincoln.  


In one breadth he takes credit he "called for an audit" in 2008 while in another he attacks Mayor Zimmer for doing one, demanding he see it.  And do what reinstate Anthony Russo on the taxpayer dime?


Russo "assumes," there was no one else re: his father Anthony Russo receiving illegal health insurance but he certainly was aware of the Hudson Reporter stories denying his father's "service," as mayor and his resulting ineligibility.  So let the coverup commence!


This won't pass the smell test.  Is the Hudson County Prosecutor's office getting wind of any of this?  If they do and can't get to it, maybe they should kick it over to Newark to the Federal Attorney's office and the FBI.


This politrickin fraud on Hoboken must not stand.


Talking Ed Note: the Hoboken Journal is covering the City Council meeting but via Twitter.  Get your twits going, because there are a lot of them up on the dais.  


Update: The Hoboken Reporter is making up for lost time with a third story now having interviewed Mayor Zimmer on the matter of the audit.  BA Arch Liston is responsible for uncovering two people not qualified for receiving benefits.  


To the question by Mike Russo why this came up now, it was due to his father's appeal!  Anthony Russo fought to keep receiving the health insurance benefits even though it had been a closed matter.  The Russo clan doing what it does best.  Represent!