Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Former City attorney on Fire Chief Blohm: 'He should be under FBI investigation'

In round two of the latest barn burner revelations in the FBI Data Theft Ring conspiracy, Monday was former corporation counsel Mark Tabakin's turn to detail the events back in May 2011 when the looting of the mayor's office electronic communications was first uncovered.

Although no longer working for Hoboken, Tabakin's testimony synced with former Business Administrator Arch Liston's revealing some new surprises at the alleged false admission by Jonathan Cummins to the widespread crimes.

Tabakin called Cummins false admission to the crime spree "inexplicable" and "almost out of nowhere," based on a Hoboken Patch blog account.

As Cummins seeks to regain his job back at City Hall in administrative hearings in Newark, Tabakin hinted at displeasure with current Fire Chief Richard Blohm saying if he wasn't under FBI investigation, "he should be."

Tabakin's comments reported in the Jersey Journal by Terence McDonald also said former Public Safety Director Angel Alicea "should be" viewed similarly but that Tabakin didn't know the status of the FBI investigation either way.

Former city attorney Mark Tabakin testified yesterday saying of Fire Chief Richard Blohm, if he wasn't under FBI investigation,
 "he should be."  The FBI with the US Attorney's Office in Newark has been investigating Hoboken since May 2011 when it took 
the "keys to the kingdom" leaving City Hall with computers and documents.

The comments coming from the former Administration official won't come as a surprise to many as he was known for his blunt and colorful style.  The testimony of Tabakin and Arch Liston Monday brings the scandal front and center in Hoboken.  The US Attorneys Office in Newark said last June the investigation is continuing.

Tabakin is reported to say on Hoboken Patch that Cummins was not a suspect when questioned and his surprise confession left him "blown away."

The FBI complaint last November at the time of IT Manager Patrick Ricciardi's arrest pointed clearly to both Fire Chief Richard Blohm and former Public Safety Director Angel Alicea was widely known by insiders, the Old Guard and some MSV Premium readers who pieced the hints together.

The FBI complaint did not state the investigation was limited to two municipal related officials.

 City communications manager Juan Melli is quoted in the Jersey Journal story saying the City is taking the revelations of Fire Chief Blohm's alleged involvement in the scandal "seriously."

The reports also indicate for the first time, the entire mayor's office was systematically being looted of all electronic communications for about a year and a half from the mayor to the business administrator, the communications manager and confidential aide.

Talking Ed Note: Rumors on the street say Hoboken firefighters are frustrated with the situation and unhappy about the news on the Fire Chief coming out.  Some are murmuring he needs to be gone, the sooner the better.

There's whispers the fire audit was in the hands the Fire Chief sooner than it should have been.

When does the next shoe drop?