According to a report by Ray Smith at the Hudson Reporter, the FBI picked up a substantial amount of data in their late May visit to City Hall. Based on a public records request, the Feds haul includes 35 different hard drives and four laptops taken from Patrick Ricciardi's Information Technology Office on the third floor of City Hall.
The size of the hard drives are not identified but the sheer quantity indicates a sizable amount of data. 45 DVDs were also inventoried along with five CD discs, a Galaxy Tablet and a half-dozen cell phones.
The FBI criminal complaint states Ricciardi confessed during a May 25th interview to intercepting email communications going to and from the mayor's office. He compiled the communications of two senior staffers along with the mayor.
Ricciardi's base salary of less than 73K is dwarfed by his last two years of earnings: over 200K in 2010 and over 190K in 2009 putting him far and away above the mayor's 115K annual salary.
The City Council minority, re: MORTe (Mason-Occhipinti-Russo and Terry Castellano) attempted to lower the salary of the mayor for the second time in her term and again the salaries of directors saving about $50,000 when they held control of the council last spring.
In April shortly after a FBI surveillance video showing Councilman Michael Russo agreeing to accept a series of bribes with Solomon Dwek was released, both he and Councilwoman Beth Mason put forward a resolution to see the release of all emails by the mayor's staff going back to January 2010.
The FBI criminal complaint states Ricciardi began his massive looting of the mayor's office communications in early 2010.
Repeated questions from MSV over months during live City Council meetings showed both Beth Mason and Michael Russo refusing to answer whether they had seen any of the emails they sought in their co-sponsored resolution.
At the last November City Council meeting, Beth Mason interrupted MSV during public portion repeatedly and finally denied seeing the emails although as noted then, she had repeated opportunities to do so over months. Mason also offered this curious response after the July 1st meeting:
Councilman Michael Russo recently claimed in a Hoboken Now story he had not received any of the emails from Patrick Ricciardi but Ricciardi's ex-wife posted comments stating her former husband had been involved in a number of illegal activities still worth investigating and he had spent significant time with Michael Russo.
Talking Ed Note: In premium content earlier this past week, MSV identified another person being discussed in Old Hoboken believed to be the hub of illicit activity with Patrick Ricciardi.
This person is not believed to be either of the two anonymous officials in the FBI criminal complaint but is known to have ties to rabid anti-Administration associates and the Russo clan.
MSV will not name the person or interfere with the FBI investigation. For the moment we'll dub this person talked about in Old Guard circles as "the Hub."