Thursday, March 14, 2013

Grist exclusive: Rice, Rice, Baby! HHA ED Carmelo Garcia has been Rice noticed!

A Grist for the Mill Exclusive Breaking Report

The Hoboken Housing Authority meeting tonight appears to have an additional item added to the agenda - Executive Director Carmelo Garcia has been served a Rice notice.

Rice notices are required by law to be given to public employees prior to any discussion of their job.  Carmelo Garcia is the self-described "sole appointing authority" who guided a severely problematic and legally conflicted six month process to hire counsel for the HHA.  HUD's response to the numerous procurement problems and possible illegal actions were documented in a letter earlier this month.  (See MSV's Wednesday exclusive story below.)

The full details of the official Rice notice on Carmelo Garcia's contract are not clear and equally uncertain is whether the topic will be discussed privately or in public at the meeting scheduled for 6:00 PM tonight.

Varied accounts of the Rice notice are coming out of the Housing Authority.  Reliable sources say officials are "rounding up the usual suspects" and going through the complex to "gin up a mob" for tonight's 6:00 PM meeting at 220 Adams Street.  Similar acts have occurred in Hoboken previously such as at a BoE meeting last year.

Another source says some HHA residents have gotten wind Carmelo Garcia is in some trouble although it's unclear if they are aware of the disastrous HUD letter issued earlier this month.  That rumor says "they're celebrating" what they believe may be Garcia's demise.

Both Executive Director Carmelo Garcia and HHA Chairman Jake Stuiver were contacted for this story but neither was available for comment.

Not one local media outlet has written so much as a comma about the blockbuster letter issued by HUD on the serious problems cited in their March 6th letter.

A crew of the Old Guard and then some promises to be in attendance to rabble rouse at tonight's HHA meeting.
Beth Mason paid political operatives will most certainly be in attendance to make matters worse.
The Hoboken Police Department present at the last meeting will have their hands full tonight.  

Talking Ed Note: The meeting tonight at 220 Adams Street promises to be the most consequential affecting Hoboken in recent memory.  The 20/20 plan, the illicit vote farming, and ultimately possible control of the 4th ward are all on the table culminating in an Old Guard showdown of dramatic import. Tim Occhipinti will likely be in attendance again.  The HHA is the scene of almost all of his 575 paid 'campaign workers.'

The local media editors are doing their part - as usual. The coverup by those editors of a major federal agency's blistering criticism with direct oversight of the Hoboken Housing Authority's massive incompetence under ED Carmelo Garcia and questionable appointment of Charles Daglian - and the entire process leading up to it, is in and of itself an outrage.

Take note Hoboken, the Machine is not going down without a fight.

Related: Here's a story on Patch ignoring in entirety the numerous serious issues about the HHA raised in the HUD letter this month.

The letter MSV highlighted is available to anyone but there's no mention of the substance of it and how the issue(s) plays into tonight's HHA meeting and/or related to the Rice notice issued to Carmelo Garcia.

Has the importance of the overriding federal agency over the HHA just been entirely missed?

There is however room for an analogy made to the City Council and the mayor's division of powers compared to the HHA.  Unfortunately, it's a faulty one failing to distinguish between the mayor (an elected official) and the Executive Director role at the HHA (a contracted position answerable to the HHA Board of commissioners.)

MSV would classify all this as simply erroneous but that conclusion would be incorrect.
It is what it is.