MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE
The bar for the joint motions to dismiss against Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the former HHA chairman is high based on NJ law but the judge indicated in his questions he was not impressed with Carmelo Garcia's claim he was "a whistleblower," stating there was nothing shown in the civil complaint and you have to blow the whistle on "something."
Louis Zayas, the attorney for Garcia was given the vast majority of the hearing's time to make his case but appeared to fail to offer much in the way of legal reasoning supporting his client's allegations. He would make more and more outlandish claims as the hearing progressed alleging his client was under duress of "extortion" and was told "if he didn't hire the mayor's vendors, he would be fired."
Nowhere in the plaintiff's complaint did it demonstrate which contract Garcia claims he had been extorted. The only contract contested by the HHA Board of commissioners repeatedly in the past year has been its counsel contract. Garcia has attempted to force the HHA Board to approve his selection of existing counsel Charles Daglian seven times and failed in each attempt. Garcia's current Hoboken Housing Authority contract spells out he has the "sole appointing authority" to make recommendations to the board on hiring professional services for the HHA. It's unclear how Mayor Zimmer could impact such a choice.
No mention of any specific contract or professional hire was mentioned in the hearing or in Garcia's complaint alleging where such an action took place. The judge noted the mayor held no authority to fire Garcia under the HHA's existing laws and she had appointing powers for only one of the seven seats. Hoboken's City Council makes most of the appointments and one seat is appointed by the NJ governor.
Judge Maron said Garcia's attorney, Louis Zayas should not use the term "ethnic cleansing" in the court as it was "offensive to real victims of ethnic cleansing." Zayas would reply his client had his rights to free speech and the judge agreed but politely said it should not appear in court documents or be applied in the courtroom itself. Zayas remained mum to the admonishment.
Vision 20/20 was mentioned once in passing and was the unsaid elephant in the room. The controversial idea to more than double the downtown HHA has been a point of controversy since Garcia first began publicizing a marketing brochure for it two years ago. Requests for a master plan and details be made to the public have never been satisfied.
The line between public policy disputes and civil litigation was made abundantly clear if the preliminary findings conclude similarly with the court's legal opinion expected next week. HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia was not present at the hearing.
|Carmelo Garcia learned today what a court of law|
thinks of his application of "ethnic cleansing."
The court was not appreciative of its use.
Talking Ed Note: MSV has withheld publishing one important piece of information related to this case. Before the civil lawsuit became public, a source stated a senior party in the Ruben Ramos for Mayor campaign commented about it. A matter of fact statement was made that the lawsuit would be withdrawn only after Mayor Zimmer agreed to stand down, not question and stay out of the way of Carmelo Garcia's Vision 20/20 plan. The implication was the lawsuit would be damaging politically to the mayor leading into the November election.
For legal reasons, MSV is not able to detail more on this revelation. Vision 20/20 also known by many as Vision Money/Money has been harshly criticized for both its lack of transparency and the apparent visions of greenbacks twinkling in many Old Guard eyes.