Carmelo Garcia taping revelation: Offered to throw mayoral candidate Ruben Ramos under the bus for unrestricted HHA power
Faced with a torturous drip, drip, drip being unmasked as secretly taping local politicos and officials over weeks, Carmelo Garcia the front man for the controversial Vision 20/20 redevelopment plan could do nothing as local media closed in on incontrovertible evidence of his transgression.
Then Attorney Louis Zayas added to his clientele of lawsuits against the City of Hoboken with another civil suit announcing Carmelo Garcia to the active list.
A hunt for a transcript, possibly doctored with a "matching" audio tape became the center of a media chase when Garcia's attorney mistakenly exposed it in an unrelated lawsuit with another client, Angel Alicea, the former Hoboken Public Safety Director suing the city over his termination.
Yesterday the Hudson Reporter revealed it holds a transcript where Carmelo Garcia threw mayoral candidate Ruben Ramos under the bus at a lunch he "set up" last January in Manhattan with the mayor's husband Stan Grossbard and former State Senator Bernard Kenny. From the online article,
... according to a transcript of the tape, Garcia tells Grossbard that he may be willing to support Mayor Zimmer for re-election this November if she allows him greater leeway to do what he wants to do.
Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, a friend of Garcia was well known to be exiting his existing role and planning to throw his hat into the ring for Hoboken mayor.
The Garcia legal spin is he was secretly taping the lunch to build a case that the mayor's husband was acting as a "political emissary," but how spouses speaking to one another would constitute illegal activity is unclear.
The mayor in an issued statement Thursday all but called Garcia's taping of her husband at the January lunch an out and out attempt at extortion.
Yesterday, HHA residents said Carmelo Garcia was known to be secretly taping people in conversations "for a long time." Hudson County figures over weeks have been quietly discussing with one another Garcia's secret taping(s) and wondering if they may have been "set up."
Most prominent among them, none other than State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack who held numerous meetings and conversations with Garcia leading to his selection as his choice for an Assembly seat last spring.
Garcia is on the ballot in November after being named to the county slate and considered an easy winner after a process where Brian Stack reportedly considered Frank "Pupie" Raia and Councilwoman Beth Mason for the slot.
Ruben Ramos, the departing Assemblyman who lost support of Stack due to disagreement over statewide pension reform advocated for Garcia as his replacement surprising many when Stack's announcement was made.
|Carmelo Garcia "set up" a lunch to record the mayor's husband and former State Senator Bernard Kenny offering to throw mayoral candidate Ruben Ramos under the bus for unilateral powers in the HHA.|
The full transcript, audiotape and legal filing are not available to the public. It can't be too much longer before it all does. It's likely to deliver weeks of Hoboken politico and blogosphere chatter as the November election approaches.
Leading into an HHA meeting earlier this year, Carmelo Garcia bragged he would be the next Assemblyman and said he had a brilliant idea in a brief Q&A. He effusively praised MSV saying he wanted to bring Da Horsey into "his cabinet" when he is sworn in after the November election.
The job offer was laughed off and immediately dismissed but Garcia insisted he was a "maverick" and the offer was real. Was the conversation being taped by Garcia as part of another "set up?"
Talking Ed Note: Commenters have noted in addition to Carmelo Garcia's pictures disappearing from the Ruben Ramos' mayoral campaign media, election signs disappeared from Garica's home windows at least two weeks ago.
The speculation is Ramos' mayoral campaign being pitched as a "Vision for Hoboken" needed to immediately decouple from Garcia's controversial Vision 20/20 plan with the decision to go on offense with a civil suit.
While New York and New Jersey permit taping one's conversations, doing so among political friend and foe is certainly not being received with joyous celebration among politicos in Hoboken and Hudson County.
If the FBI wants to follow up on its Hoboken investigation, there may be a library of interesting audio tapes on Bloomfield St. waiting to be taken into evidence.