33rd NJ Assembly ballot fight moves back to State Court in legal shift
The legal warfare, to be or not to be on the ballot for the 33rd Assembly seat took another twist as Carmelo Garcia's lawyers attempted to move the case out of NJ state court to the US Circuit Court.
According to a release from the attorney for the five Hoboken plaintiffs, the effort failed and was kicked back to Judge Peter Bariso who earlier ordered a halt to printing ballots for the June 4th primary.
The hearing scheduled before Superior Court Assignment Judge Peter Bariso on the voters’ lawsuit challenging the eligibility of Carmelo Garcia to run for General Assembly, originally scheduled for 10am tomorrow, has been moved to Friday at 2pm.
The lawyer for the five Hoboken residents, Flavio Komuves sent the following in a media release:
The change in time follows an unsuccessful attempt by Mr. Garcia to have a federal, rather than a state judge, decide the issues in the case. Late this afternoon, U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi issued a 6-page opinion remanding the case back to Judge Bariso. In granting the remand, Judge Cecchi wrote that “it would be more efficient for Judge Bariso to continue with the resolution of this matter” since Judge Bariso has already begun considering the issues involved and had previously issued an order stopping the printing of ballots.
The lawsuit claims that Garcia is ineligible to run for the state legislature because he simultaneously serves as the executive director of the Hoboken Housing Authority, an agency that receives over $10 million annually in federal grants.
Carmelo Garcia was contacted for this story but unavailable for comment.
|Carmelo Garcia posing before his gargantuan Vision 20/20 plan to expand the HHA in Hoboken is seeing court scrutiny over his eligibility to run for the 33rd Assembly seat in NJ, the Honorable Peter Bariso presiding.|
Talking Ed Note: Did we just see a legal tilt? Perhaps not, but the Union City cliffs over Hoboken just got a shake, a 3.5 on the Richter scale. Brian, did you feel that?
Da Horsey is skilled in preparation of organic carrots but it appears the Brian Stack - Carmelo Garcia legal team is somewhat fearful of the overriding state law governing the case and preferred to see the matter moved to the friendly environs of US District Court. None of this is determinative but it's illustrative to the issues in question: state and federal.
Budget Electioneering: Tonight is the regularly scheduled City Council meeting. There's been chatter among the Old Guard council about budget amendments. But to this point although there's been repeated requests to do so, it's believed none have been submitted.
It doesn't mean they won't be offered, it just means there's last minute budget politrickery/sabotage high on their agenda. The Hoboken Sopranos hardly show up as a group in the annual budget workshops instituted back when the late fiscal state monitor Judy Tripodi was handling City finances. While those savings all told run in the hundreds of thousands, the Old Guard council NEVER brings any budget reductions to the table. Budget politics re: repeated cuts to the mayor and directors salaries is something they are fond of but real, serious work in reducing a $104 million budget?
Prepare well for tonight and let the drinking games commence every time Tim Occhipinti complains about $1.8 million in increased spending (attributable to $1.5 million in health care costs and public safety increases) and pretends he's deaf, dumb and blind never hearing those facts even when they are stated seconds before his manufactured talking points.
Some of you may want to argue over the dumb portion of his gasbaggery. Talk amongst yourselves.
Councilman Michael Russo is sure to entertain everyone speaking almost 50% of the time in the council budget discussion along the lines of a phony, overspent budget. (It'll be modified after he reads this.) It doesn't have to be true with its 2% tax reduction for him to say it. Only if he thinks it sounds good and media will write it with 0% scrutiny.
Mikey is always impressed with whatever side of his mouth he's talking. His third ward constituents are his fellow subsidized Church Towers neighbors and municipal workers. Accountability for Russo would mean if he shoots someone in the lobby of Church Towers, he's taken into custody for at least five minutes of questioning before being released and declared innocent with a story in the local paper saying he had been the victim of an alleged framing by the Zimmer Administration.
Afternoon Update: There's now word of Timmy Occhipinti amendments but they haven't been vetted with others. Among his ideas are: cutting the Business Administrator's expenses 25% (with no offsetting cuts of his own), against funding for terminal leave and creating another legal department employee for redevelopment. Apparently, no one has told Occhipinti his legal prowess has been less than impressive to date.
If Occhipinti wants to see things move ahead, he should try to learn to work with others versus his constant carping and interrupting of others.
As for the Russo clan, neither Terry Castellano or Michael Russo has put up any amendments they said were coming. Doesn't mean a poison pill isn't coming, it must certainly is.