Thursday, November 17, 2011

Michele "Five-bucks-a-tow" scores a taxpayer paid job

Today's Hudson Reporter confirms what MSV has been tracking for months - Michele Russo has scored a taxpayer position and it's going through on the BoE in Union City where MSV investigated previously.

Earlier a controversy broke out when Michele "five-bucks-a-tow" Russo attempted to apply for a Hudson County position but that effort was quashed by public protest from readers here phoning the County.

According to the HR story, Michele has been working on the Union City BoE since late October and offers this quote:

Union City Superintendent of Schools Stanley Sanger said Russo “filled a need within the district as far as the new health screening center at UCHS.” He said he found her to be the best candidate with her “quality organizational skills."

Talking Ed Note: What the trade was between the Russo clan and Union City Mayor Stack is unclear but our original source said it had to be something significant.  Perhaps the Feds can find out at the right time.

With the expanding FBI investigation in Hoboken and the arrest last week of Russo friend Patrick Ricciardi, is this dumb or what?

October 11, 2011

Grist for the Mill: Michele Russo shut down again on Union City BoE job with health benefits


If you don't get the taxpayer loot, the Russo clan motto is try, try again and let no concept as shame, or the law stop you.  All's fair in seeking the bottom line by hook or by crook.  Usually it's the latter, but you are no crook until the door cell sings shut behind you and maybe not even then.

MSV reported earlier on Michele Russo's attempt to land a county job with coveted taxpayer paid health benefits lost in a December audit by the City, but in the latest foray, the fat lady had not truly sung in Union City.  This time it has.

Michele Russo (l) speaking to Councilwoman Terry Castellano before a recent council meeting.

A well placed sourced connected to Union City categorically says plans had  been finalized between Union City Mayor Brian Stack who is well known for his hands of influence on the town's BoE and the Russo family.  The arrangement was concluded in a negotiation with Michele Russos' son, 3rd ward Councilman Michael Russo .  (And here we thought he was valiantly working on saving the hospital.)

Previously MSV exclusively reported the Russo efforts failed to obtain a position on the Union City BoE for Ma Russo but this effort had destiny written on it.  To our question on whether there was reconsideration this time, the source interjected, "It was a done deal!."

So what happened?  An Attorney General investigation in Union City has put the heat on the town and Mayor Brian Stack backed out not wanting to have the added glare under the spotlight.  Ma Russo was all set as an action item on the most recent Union City BoE agenda, until suddenly she wasn't.

Her planned BoE job  was unceremoniously yanked off the agenda.  It's not clear if a third attempt will be made should the heat lighten up.  Currently, police chief Charles Everett is the target of a state probe on a "low show" job doing school security as reported in the Jersey Journal last week:

Subpoenas have been served to Union City Mayor Brian Stack’s office, Police Chief Charles Everett’s office and the Union City Board of Education in its investigation, a source told The Jersey Journal.

Union City Mayor Brian Stack also serves as a NJ State Senator.  According to the unconfirmed source, Michele Russo's done deal was quashed due to the heat from the police chief probe.  It's not known what Councilman Michael Russo offered in exchange for the BoE job, but the source noted it had to be something, something good.

Talking Ed Note: The first casualty in a state law enforcement action in Hoboken in recent days is all but official.  Begin the countdown...

Ready when you are Madam Attorney General.  Hoboken is eagerly awaiting another visit in coordination with the Boys of Summer, from the FBI in Newark.  Union City is in the sights now just up the hill.  NJ Attorney General Paula Dow is pictured here at Hoboken's 9-11 ceremony.

Wider law enforcement heat from the NJ Attorney General's Office has generated impact on Hoboken and oddly it's via Union City.  This is the first tangible affect on the Old Guard in town.

It won't be the last.  Turn up the heat, baby!

Unrelated: Grafix Avenger has penned yet another in her smash hit series, "FBI Letter No. 9."  This the latest in joyful anticipation of the FBI's return visit to Hoboken and what Tim Occhipinti, the current occupant of the 4th ward council seat called "a credible threat."

Well MSV certainly hopes so but it's not in the way Occhipinti hoped.  He along with his sponsor Beth Mason coordinated a complaint against the Hoboken mom for "FBI Letter No. 4" where GA comically wrote about joining the Feds and helping in a series of arrests of corrupt Hoboken officials/residents.

Don't we all?

Beth Mason's unintended confession: 'Prove my guilt'


At the Monday City Council meeting, public portion became a gold mine, a fount of information for the keen observer of MORTe on the question of their single minded determinedness to make public tens of thousands of emails from the mayor's office last spring.

The FBI came to Hoboken in late May and scooped up all the data including what was coming and going to the Mayor's office - a key element of what's on tap is nothing short of a full blown racketeering conspiracy - RICO in legal parlance.

After MSV completed its comments and questions noting the odd coincidence of the council minority seeking the release of the same emails as the FBI uncovered in a massive conspiracy against City Hall, Councilwoman Beth Mason made some intriguing remarks.

Here it is as transcribed by Grafix Avenger:

"Council President, first of all I'm raising concerns because these are issues of libel.  And I'm gonna make it very clear.  That there are significant issues here and unless there's proof I'm going to say I've NOT seen those emails and maybe Mr. Brice should release the emails between you and the mayor's political aides that I asked so we can really see what has been a coordinated effort as a smear campaign between those of us who don't agree with this administration and continue to speak out and you're not gonna shut me up!  

I'm tired of this constant (?), false accusations between members of this council.  If you have proof come with it, stop talking, show your effort."

Councilwoman Beth Mason meant to reply to MSV's questions but looks
to have confused doing so with her legal position on the FBI investigation.

Seeing Beth Mason's complete remarks in print, the first thing that jumps out is this:

... unless there's proof, I'm going to say I've not seen those emails.

Let's break this down into two parts:

a) unless there's proof
Councilwoman Beth Mason is dismissing the inquiry she's seen any of the emails the FBI now demonstrates have been illegally taken from City Hall and distributed to at least two people (and likely a host of others) unless there's proof.

This is hardly the statement of an individual proclaiming their innocence.

It's an invitation actually, an invitation to the US Attorney's Office to go to trial.  Why would Beth Mason be saying such a thing?  MSV believes this reveals what we've only shared in premium content until now:

Beth Mason has been speaking to both the FBI and the US Attorney's Office in protracted negotiations on her role in the Data Theft Conspiracy Ring and likely not on the release of emails they hold in an ongoing investigation as she's repeatedly stated.

Why would the FBI agree to ANY release of emails part and parcel to an expanding investigation? There's nothing logical in that and any federal attorney would say the same.

If the FBI is willing to make emails public that's part of an ongoing investigation, let's see that in writing.  (No laughing please.)

Beth Mason based on these remarks looks to have accidentally betrayed her "internal" position on the matter to the FBI.  She's stating a standard of proof is required.

Where does one sift through the proof, the nuts and bolts evidence?  That's done in a court of law - at trial.

Now on to the second part:
b) I'm going to say I've not seen those emails

Again, this is not the statement of someone proclaiming their innocence.  This is a politician's language showing that until caught dead to rights, they will hold their position to the full extent possible.  What it appears Mason is implying is she will hold to this steadfast position until she been convicted in court.

Talking Ed Note:  Councilman Michael Russo left the dais early in MSV's remarks and on departure directly after, we noted he was standing at the back of the room to the left of the door leaning against the wall and was watching.

He didn't budge from that spot even as Da Horsey exited.  Back in early June at the City Council meeting, both Council members Mike Russo and Beth Mason would not answer a simple yes no question from MSV on whether they saw the emails.

Beth Mason said "I'd be happy to have the council answer questions after the public is finished (commenting)," but neither she nor Michael Russo answered the question.

At the time when the question was made, Councilwoman Castellano fought to contain laughter.
Think she's laughing now?

State of NJ to MORTe (again): Go back and fix it

The latest saga of MORTe sabotage is being resisted by the State of NJ.  According to a letter discussed on Hoboken Now:

The state Director of Local Government Service Thomas Neff urged Hoboken to call for a special meeting in a letter to the city council.

The council minority, re: MORTe - Beth Mason, Tim Occhipinti, Michael Russo and Terry Castellano have resisted efforts to shift available funds, about 2% of the City's annual budget in an effort to force Mayor Dawn Zimmer into a corner.

To this point, like earlier on the hospital they've been successful. Their strenuous arguments on needing more information are countered by the Finance Director Nick Trasente who describes the budget line item shift as "routine."

Logic has no effect on MORTe and the members of the public short of showing up in numbers to shame them has no impact either.

On the hospital, the institution had to be pushed to the brink in obtaining a waiver on its parking agreement so it could stay open with a packed City Council chamber on a Sunday evening.

That's how MORTe rolls.

This is how the public rolled that Sunday.  MORTe could care less.  Here's one of Hoboken's greatest hits, smacking MORTe upside the head.

But as Hoboken resident Andrew Cartright said, they "just don't get it."

Talking Ed Note: There's word in cyberspace from Beth Mason's friend who is not paid for friendship that this can all be fixed if the City will merely agree to hire 10 firefighters allowing MORTe to feather their nest showing City workers they can grow their voting base.

Grafix Avenger raised the issue of such cyberspace extortion earlier:

Correction: The story MSV linked to on Hoboken Now is not a second letter from the State of NJ as believed but based on the first letter published here earlier. MSV could not find the letter and now understands the story is somewhat dated in that regard.