Mile Square View Exclusive
According to a complaint filed by BoE trustee Theresa Minutillo, a harassment case against Mason's paid political operative Matt Calicchio last fall will be moving out of the hearing stages and is going to trial next month.
Councilwoman Beth Mason's unpopularity is certain to take another nosedive with news her paid political operative Matt Calicchio is allegedly behind stalking and harassing a Hoboken mom outside of her young daughter's school. In the complaint filed October 18th, Minutillo charged Beth Mason's operative with harassment alleging he showed up at the school her five year old daughter attends and began screaming at them on the street.
|Councilwoman Beth Mason with her paid political operative Matt Calicchio at the BoE meeting in February where the Old Guard turned out in force to oppose November BoE elections.|
In addition it's alleged Callichio followed Minutillo with her daughter to a local eatery. While the mother and child dined, Callichio is reported to have sat at the next table neither eating nor drinking but staring over at them from the next table.
Minutillo, a prominent leader in the Kids First sitting majority on the BoE declined to speak on the legal case but did not deny the details of the complaint or a trial scheduled for May 24th in Union City Municipal Court. The case was moved out of Hoboken as Minutillo is an elected official.
Calicchio has been at odds with the current Kids First BoE majority where Minutillo serves and Reform at City Hall as a whole. He's a regular at Hoboken political meetings and is an Old Guard stalwart who switched from working for Frank "Pupie" Raia in local elections to Beth Mason leading into the spring 2011 council elections last year.
|BoE trustee Theresa Minutillo at a board meeting last February.|
No stranger to controversy, Calicchio was named as a suspect in voter fraud on behalf of the Tim Occhipinti campaign against 4th ward Councilman Michael Lenz in an alleged massive vote buying scheme primarily using vote by mail ballots. After review by the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office, the complaint was forwarded to the NJ Attorney General's Office. No conclusion has been issued by the AG's office concerning the controversial election and that case may find its way into a broader ongoing FBI investigation into Hoboken corruption.
Calicchio is believed to be working for Hudson County as a security guard while moonlighting as an operative for Beth Mason. Previously, MSV relayed Mason was paying Calicchio $400 a week. That information has never been contested and Calicchio has been sighted with Mason at numerous events including City Council meetings, the mayor's State of the City speech at Stevens last January, the Hudson County Planning Board in Jersey City and Tuesday night at a meeting Mason held in the community room of Fox Hills. (Calicchio departed that meeting with Tim Occhipinti in a cab after another possible problematic incident with HHA commissioner Jake Stuiver.)
Matt Calicchio did not return a phone call about his trial date and questions submitted to Beth Mason's personal email asking for comment on her paid political operative going to trial next month are not likely to receive a response. Mason typically hides from media when uncomfortable questions are raised.
Back in June 2010 both Beth Mason and her husband Ricky complained about their daughters being mentioned in local discussions online. Although they were featured in Mason television commercials the Masons felt any reference to them was out of bounds. Many people weighed in on the issue at the Hudson Reporter, the Hoboken Journal and Ricky Mason commented several times here on MSV.
Talking Ed Note: Callichio has been represented in the case by the law office of Elise DiNardo of Jersey City. That law office represented another Mason political operative - Lane Bajardi when he attacked MSV just as a BoE forum was to begin at Stevens back in April of 2010. Coincidence?
Observers wondered if Beth Mason was paying that legal bill and Bajardi appeared very unhappy when he was forced to drop a counter-claim after failing to produce a single witness. He apparently believed he could somehow win if the case moved forward but saw his legal support cut short.
MSV never concluded on Mason's role then but this new case involving her political operative sheds new light. It certainly should for Union City Mayor Brian Stack where the trial is set to be held in May.
Update: A source indicates Matt Calicchio's employment with Hudson County ended earlier this year. It appears his sole employment and source of income is with Beth Mason.
Unrelated: The Council President Ravi Bhalla is quoted along with others in the "discussion" about the 2012 budget last night in Amanda Staab's story posted on Hoboken Patch. A very well done view of the tedious meeting encapsulated quite well: