Monday, July 8, 2013

Grist for the Mill Bombshell: Patrick Riciciardi - 'My deal gets me off, no prison time'

MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE

    


Patrick Ricciardi the former City Hall IT Manager who confessed last March to ransacking the electronic communications in the mayor's office is bragging a deal's been cut with the US Attorney's Office - and he's saying it means he won't go to prison for his crimes.

Multiple independent sources have told MSV Ricciardi is gleefully passing along word of his "deal" where he faces sentencing June 29th of up to five years in federal prison.

In March, the Jersey Journal reported Ricciardi faced up to five years based on sentencing guidelines and cooperation with federal investigators.

"Probation?" one source remarked in a conversation about the cancelled sentencing last week.  Asked how they knew he was getting probation when the sentencing was rescheduled to later in July, the source clammed up saying unconvincingly, it was "a rumor."

Federal judge Esther Salas will be sentencing Patrick Ricciardi on July 29th.  Will she see a curve ball coming?

Another source independently said word of the reported "deal" came from Patrick Ricciardi talking about it in his neighborhood.  Ricciardi has a condo on the west side of Hoboken in the Metro Stop building.  Residents of the building have been eager to see Ricciardi sentenced and leave complaining about the traffic in and out of his unit and suspected illicit drug activity with corresponding odors in the building elevators.

One source noted it's not certain who may have aided and abetted Ricciardi in planting an automated "archive" folder hijacking all electronic data coming and going into the mayor's office.  They hinted someone was directing Ricciardi higher on the crime food chain in the Data Theft Ring Conspiracy.

An observer to the Hoboken investigation speculated "Sometimes you have to let the little fish go to get the big fish."  But another disagreed fearing the US Attorney's Office in Newark is walking away from the email conspiracy entirely with nothing gained in the Ricciardi "deal."

A federal attorney not affiliated with any of the parties in the case added to the skullduggery of Ricciardi's delayed sentencing later this month saying, "No one knows what's going on behind the scenes," before adding about the sentencing postponement, "Something is wrong."

Federal Judge Esther Salas will be issuing Patrick Ricciardi's sentence July 29th.  There was no official recommendation made by the US Attorney's Office at the cancelled sentencing hearing last week but Mayor Dawn Zimmer expressed concern on both the FBI investigation and Ricciardi saying, "I think they should all be accountable and until the sentencing happens, I won't know whether even (Ricciardi) will be held accountable."

Two years ago last May, Ricciardi abruptly disappeared when his remote office on the third floor was padlocked leading into a City Council meeting. An unscheduled closed session of the City Council meeting took place before the meeting and when the doors opened to the public, it was clear something significant had occurred.

In April 2011, Council members Beth Mason and Michael Russo sponsored a resolution attempting to obtain all the emails from the mayor's office going back to early 2010 - the exact same time Patrick Ricciardi was systematically looting the same data.  A revised resolution followed demanding emails between the mayor's office listing local media with MSV, Grafix Avenger and the Hoboken Journal atop their target list.

Even after the FBI swooped on Hoboken City Hall back in May 2011 taking records with boxes of city data, both Beth Mason and Michael Russo continued to press the emails be released going as far as trying to pass a resolution before former Corporation Counsel Mark Tabakin could relay a message from the FBI on the matter in closed session.

On July 1, 2011 the Old Guard council's efforts to see their witch hunt through failed when a resolution ending the matter was passed 5-4 with the newly sworn-in sixth ward councilwoman Jen Giattino.

Months later the Old Guard council members Beth Mason, Michael Russo, Terry Castellano and Tim Occhipinti denied Patrick Ricciardi gave them any emails - but not before they tried to make them public and render the evidenced under the jurisdiction of the FBI useless in the Data Theft Conspiracy Ring.

At month's end, it will be Judge Esther Salas' turn passing sentence on June 29th. Under federal law, she's not bound by any arrangement between the US Attorney's Office and Patrick Ricciardi.

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Grist for the Mill is MSV's rumor column.  While the rumors are solid, details are purposefully left incomplete to protect sources.  Got a juicy carrot for Da Horsey?  Send it to smartyjones@me.com.

Photo courtesy NJ.com, by arrangement


Talking Ed Note: Back at the July 1, 2011 council meeting, MSV offered to take question on its email with City Hall.  The offer was met with zero takers.

Comment from the US Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey was not sought. It's not expected they would comment on the case since the last request several months ago.