Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Word of the petitons for November municipal elections

Just heard folks are going to be out and about for November election petitions:

Down at the PATH/Ferry tonight 5:00 - 7:00 in the evening, and at the Family Fun Night concert at Shipyard Park 6:30-7:30.

Tomorrow 5:00 - 7:00 at the PATH/Ferry, - on Washington Street.

The downtown PATH/Ferry 6-8PM on Thursday, and at the Uptown Farmer's market 3pm-7pm. 

Friday: Downtown PATH/Ferry 5-7PM.

Stop by, sign up, help out!

Mason Civic League or Mason Family Civic League - that's the question

Mason Civic League employees testimony completely "fabricated" - judge


One of the intriguing aspects, one among many of the Union City Municipal Court trial involving two Beth Mason employees is the interchangeable use of the name of the employer: the Mason Civic League and/or Mason Family Civic League.

It's a key aspect rivaling the false testimony the judge would slam from both Mason Civic League employees.

At the June trial, both Tania Garcia and Matt Calicchio reference their employer but it's evasive or intentionally deceitful how they do so - with Garcia being quite unclear and Calicchio attempting to color his employment for the "gallery."

Judge Sixto Macias did not buy any of it.  He called both of their employment "political jobs" even though they are being paid from a taxpayer supported "charity."
Here's the segments related to the discussion on the Mason Civic League's name.
Prosecutor Coviello questions Tania Garcia who is appearing on behalf of the defendant, her Mason Civic League co-worker Matt Calicchio:

Q = Questioner re: Prosecutor A = Answer by Tania Garcia

Q    Oh.  Okay.  In -- where do you work?
A    In the Mason Civic.
Q    Pardon me?
A    In the Mason Civic.
Q    Okay.  Mason Civic.  You do know that -- that Ms. Minutillo is a member of the board of education, correct?
A    Now I do.    
Q    Now you do.  Okay.  Is it fair to say that civically -- the civic association that you work for,
 Ms. Mason, is let's say a non-supporter of Ms. Minutillo?
A    To be honest, I?m not sure about that, if she is or she isn?t.
Q    Okay.  Do you -- do you know a Carmelo Garcia (phonetic)?
A    Yes, I do.
Q    Who is that? 
A    That?s my son?s uncle.
Q    And Mr. Garcia is also a member of the board of education of Hoboken?
A    Yes, he is.
Q    And how do you -- how -- is it fair to say that Mr. Garcia is, let's say, not on the same political fence -- side of the political fence as Ms. Minutillo?
 A    Again, I'm not sure.  I'm not -- I've never, ever had a conversation involving Ms. Minutillo, and I had no -- even aware that she was actually on the board, because I've never even went to a board of education meeting.

Beth Mason tells seniors at Fox Hills she has two Mason Civic League employees who do her bidding in court.
Judge Sixto Macias didn't believe a shred of testimony from either of them.

Talking Ed Note: Tania Garcia, her son's uncle being BoE Trustee Carmelo Garcia and an employee of Beth Mason claims not to know the political camps of the respective officials.  Credible?

Then Matt Calicchio's lawyer Elise DiNardo, paid for by Beth Mason over months questions the witness:

Q = Questioner - Elise DiNardo  A = Answer by Tania Garcia 

Q    How long have you worked for the Mason Civic League? 
A    Since January of 2012.
Q    Of 2012?
A    Uh-huh.
Q    And the head of the civic league is a councilwoman.  Is she a councilwoman in Hoboken?
A    Yes, she is.
Q    What do you do for the civic league?
A    Just secretarial work.
Q    Have you ever seen Ms. Minutillo in the civil league office?
A    I've seen her outside our office.  I've never seen her actually inside my office.
Q    Have you ever worked with her on any projects with the Mason Civic League?
A    No.

DiNardo then questions Matt Calicchio about his work for the Mason Civic League:

Q    Mr. Calicchio, do you reside in Hoboken?
A    Yes.
Q    And how long have you lived in Hoboken?
A    Since I was about six.
Q    And that's how many years?
A    About eight -- about 17 years.
Q    Are you currently employed?
A    Yes.
Q    By whom are you employed? A    Mason Family Civic.
Q    And how long have you been employed by the Mason Family Civic?
A    Since June of last year.
Q    And what do you do for the Mason Civic League?
A    I work in their Gallery 1200.

Talking Ed Note: Notice the lengths to which the avoidance of any connection to the political aspects of working for Beth Mason and the attempt to solely emphasize a gallery - a gallery that is hardly open to the public.  

Exactly how many hours a week can you hang up the same pictures for no one to see?


In Elise DiNardo's closing remarks, she addresses the nature of the political aspect of the case but she doesn't address it in terms of political jobs.  Instead she makes an accusation against the BoE official, that her complaint against Matt Calicchio is political in motivation.

MS. DI NARDO:  Judge, I would essentially renew my argument from earlier with regard to the
allegations that the State has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that my client harassed Ms. Minutillo on October the 18th of 2011 outside of Wallace School.

As your Honor has already stated, you're very much well aware that this is a political case, that there's some political motivation here... Clearly this complaint was filed strictly for political purposes.  

The judge's remarks would flatly dispute that contention:

Like most every political case the core is worse than the incident.  I -- I am really taken aback by -- by the testimony of Ms. -- Ms. Garcia.  It's completely incredible.  I do not believe one word of what she told me.  I -- I -- I believe that if instead of reading the blogs, I think if you're going to bring somebody to court to testify on your behalf you should at least get your stories together.

Talking Ed Note: In other words if you are going to blatantly lie and perjure yourselves, at least make sure your lies add up.  

The judge continued...

I believe beyond a reasonable doubt that on the 18th of October the defendant was in the -- in the -- in the playgrounds of Wallace Street (sic).  That the complainant walked by him.  That the second time the complainant walked by the defendant the defendant told her I will get you.  I'm coming after you.  April is around the corner?

I think that -- I -- I believe that beyond a reasonable doubt.  I -- I also believe that the whole testimony of Ms. -- Ms. Garcia and Mr. Calicchio -- Calicchio were fabricated.  It -- it is unreasonable to believe that two individuals can take off from work anytime they want to pick up a child.  Two people.  At a serious political job, and I understand this is Hudson County.  But that's beyond what I'd -- what I think political jobs are.

Anytime they wish to make -- that she could walk into that job any time she wanted to according to her testimony.  Afternoons, mornings.  And -- and really evasive.  The defendant was asked, you know, what did he do for -- at his job.  He said I work for Gallery 400 (sic) - Gallery1200...

Talking Ed Note: So Judge Sixto Macias doesn't believe Matt Calicchio is doing civic work in his employment at all.  He calls his employment a "political job."

The judge adds in his closing:

I should be able to walk through Union City without people accosting me because of my job.  Same way that -- that the complainant (BoE Trustee Minutillo) should be able to walk through Hoboken without anybody -- anybody bothering this woman.

Now as to the allegations or the situation that -- that -- that it was politically motivated for this complainant to file a complaint against this defendant is completely garbage.  He's not a candidate (for the BoE election) He is nobody in the political system of Hoboken.  He might think he is.  He's being used in exchange for a job...

(The judge mentions bullying...)

I -- I -- I personally, not as a judge, I -- I find it very disturbing, very uncivilized.  Very -- it's like bullying somebody...

And the judge closes...

You're just a fool that's been used by -- by -- by whoever (Beth Mason).  And what I find really, really, really, really disturbing is that people lied in that, you know, after swearing that they would tell the truth.  People lied.  Openly lied, which is -- which is worse than -- than a harassment charge, you know.

I would have -- I would have taken a charge of harassment better than somebody calling me a liar....

Talking Ed Note: The judge felt committing perjury under oath was worse than the original harassment charge but the Mason Civic employees apparently thought differently and perhaps so did their boss who underwrote the eight month legal case where a BoE trustee only wanted an agreement she and her child would be left alone.

What's clear in the testimony is the attempt to hide the political nature of the work under the Mason Civic League.  The judge's assessment has significance for both the IRS and other Federal agencies who would have an investigative interest in investigating the possible criminality of using a charity for political work.

Beth Mason has some 'splain to do.