The rumor of yesterday's downtown party did in fact take place but this is a true grist for the mill rumor update, not just an earwitness rumor report.
As it turns out, it's Michael Schaffer who was man of the hour. The party was a collection of his Old Guard pals including the one and only Al Arezzo welcoming him back.
Sorry Al, but MSV still doesn't see you coming back.
We'll see if there's some additional details of interest to this story.
Peter Cammarano bagman Michael Schaffer released from federal prison
MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE
July 5th, 2012
Michael Schaffer the former Second Ward City Councilman and North Hudson Sewerage commissioner has been released from federal prison based on information from the Federal Bureau of Prisons website and eyewitness accounts in Hoboken.
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website, Schaffer was released June 27th.
Schaffer, 61 and a resident of Maxwell Place served more than a year of a 18 month sentence for his role in acting as the bagman for Peter Cammarano's mayoral campaign in 2009 where he netted $25,000 in multiple exchanges with FBI informant Solomon Dwek.
Schaffer took three contributions totaling $15,000 for then mayoral candidate Peter Cammarano and then another $10,000 after he took took office depositing the money into his account before laundering it into the Cammarano for Mayor campaign.
It appears Schaffer saw about a three month reduction in his 18 month sentence. His reduction likely came within the statute for good time credit after fulfilling the first full year of his sentence. The sentence of Peter Cammarano was more suspiciously reduced as noted in this Grafix Avenger story.
From an August 2009 Hoboken Now story:
Schaffer served as a Second Ward Councilman from 1991 to 1995. He later founded the Hoboken First political group, which Hoboken's building inspector Al Arezzo and former Director of Environmental Services Jim Ronga are associated with.
Hoboken First put a slate of Vinny Addeo, Dominic Lisa, Anthony Mussara and John Corea in the 2003 Hoboken ward elections. All four candidates lost. Lisa has sat on the Hoboken Zoning Board since Mayor Anthony Russo's administration and Corea is the Parking Authority Director.
Schaffer continues to run Hoboken First as a non-profit, he said. He organized an Easter Egg hunt in the Second Ward this year and holds a senior citizens' Christmas party.
When Cammarano ran for mayor, Schaffer was an early-on supporter. (The criminal complaint refers to him as a "close associate" of Cammarano's.) He held a lavish fundraiser for Cammarano at the W Hoboken.
Schaffer, along with Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, Mike Novak, Josh Hodes (son of powerful New Jersey lobbyist Harold Hodes, who served as an advisor to Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign) and Joseph Branco (he owns Bar None and Scotland Yard), organized the affair, where tickets ran as high as $5,000 to attend.
According to ELEC filings, Schaffer contributed $7,500 to Cammarano's campaign, as well as $2,500 in food and drinks to the fundraiser.
Talking Ed Note: John Corea the former parking authority director is currently serving a seven year state prison term for his role in the looting of more than a million dollars worth of quarters from parking meters. His successor, Director Ian Sacs has introduced a new system creating additional parking and earning the town another million in anticipated annual revenues while making it more difficult to conduct such theft in the future.
The original FBI government complaint against Schaffer is available here:
Photo courtesy the Jersey Journal