Wednesday, December 18, 2013
The final City Council meeting for 2013 ends the year long plus obstruction in the efforts by the Old Guard council underwritten by the Mason family to stop progress and block the ninth and open council seat.
With the elevation of councilman-elect Jim Doyle, more than a year of obstruction fails on January 4th when the will of the people will trump Beth Mason and her allies Michael Russo, Terry Castellano and Timmy Occhipinti.
On the agenda tonight, a year end resolution to transfer funds within accounts. Among more than 500 municipalities in New Jersey, this is done in ten minutes but in Hoboken it's become a bruising battle in the attempt to force a tax increase.
We'll see what desire there is to sabotage Hoboken leading into Christmas and the New Year. Once the gavel falls tonight for the last time, that's not going to be tolerated anymore.
Here's the full agenda;
Observers shocked in jury award of $440,000 in discrimination case
Breaking: City loses jury trial in stunning outcome
The verdict arrived in the Alicea discrimination lawsuit against the City and it's a whopper. The Hudson County jury of six women and two men awarded $440,000 to Alicea who was eventually replaced by the current Public Safety Director Jon Tooke.
The City's record of winning or settling over 90% of its cases in recent years just took one on the chin.
The verdict was divided into two parts. In the first part of the decision involving Mayor Dawn Zimmer, the jury said the mayor had not discriminated against Angel Alicea.
In the second part of the decision against the City, the jury decided Angel Alicea had been discriminated against and made the award.
The Jersey Journal reported the jury voted 7-1 Mayor Zimmer didn't discriminate against Angel Alicea and the mayor isn't liable. The jury then followed with another vote 6-2 the City had discriminated in a odd "compromise" verdict as some legal observers described it.
The inconsistency seems to revolve around the part time status of the public safety position where Alicea made $27,000 while the replacement role acting full time paid $110,000.
The jury decision and the Jersey Journal story suggests the $440,000 is 'back pay.'
Talking Ed Note: The decision by the jury is already being described as inconsistent. Since the Public Safety Director reports to the mayor, she was in charge of his performance and accepted his resignation.
The jury made the City responsible but not the mayor.
Hudson County TV covered the trial and filed a report saying:
After roughly two long years in litigation, a jury, consisting of six women and two men, in Hudson County Superior Court has ruled in favor of former Hoboken Police Director Angel Alicea... Read the rest at:
Original story filed December 18th
The case alleging discrimination in a civil suit by former Public Safety Director Angel Alicea is now in the hands of the jury. MSV will have an update when a verdict is reached.
In court testimony, Mayor Dawn Zimmer identified Alicea as the former municipal employee who received her emails in the 2011 FBI criminal complaint from former IT Manager Patrick Riccicardi.
Ricciardi was sentenced to five years probation for his role in the Data Theft Conspiracy Ring.
No other arrests have been made in the case.
|Former Public Safety Director Angel Alicea in a stock MSV photo back when he served the City.|
He's pending on a civil lawsuit against Hoboken being weighed by a Hudson County jury.
The Jersey Sting, the state's largest corruption sweep in its history back in 2009 took its place front and center in the discrimination trial of former Public Safety Director Angel Alicia.
The discrimination suit alleged by Alicia claims he was victimized due to the issue of his efforts to institute drug testing in the Hoboken Police Department. A September 2009 Jersey Journal article however uncovered Alicia meeting with Dwek back when he was a council candidate on Peter Cammarano's ticket earlier that year.
Mayor Zimmer recounts in her testimony Angel Alicia had denied to her meeting Solomon Dwek.
Denials surrounding that meeting later led to his resignation when it was uncovered in a Jersey Journal story by Amy Sara Clark the Public Safety Director had met with the FBI's 'big sting' Solomon Dwek, not once but twice.
In the video, Alicea's attorney attempts to find something, anything to deflect from the basic problem in his case looking for any possible error in Mayor Dawn Zimmer's testimony to attack.
None of these revelations bode well for Alicea's civil lawsuit.
Talking Ed Note: Alicea resigned when confronted with the truth of his meetings with Solomon Dwek. The matter should have ended there. In its place is the embarrassing fiasco of a trial where Alicea is being raked over the coals.
His attorney Louis Zayas is also representing Carmelo Garcia in another civil lawsuit against the City for what Garcia calls "ethnic cleansing."
Sidebar: The Hoboken mayor may not have known she had kept on Cammarano's Public Safety Director Angel Alicea after his meeting with Solomon Dwek but the OLD GUARD KNEW!
A political staged diversion at the early April 2011 City Council meeting saw a finger pointing distraction madly looking to aid and abet Beth Mason's ally - Councilman Michael Russo who had hidden his meeting for two years with FBI informant Solomon Dwek. (Russo would tell a bagman at a Jersey City lunch to make out a $5,000 illegal contribution to "Russo for Hoboken.")
A coordinated Masonista effort was marshaled to try to protect Russo from the complaints being made by a line of residents at the council meeting following an earlier protest by dozens of Hobokenites in front of City Hall. A leader of that protest, HHA commissioner Jake Stuiver would later reveal he went ahead and released information on Beth Mason meeting with Solomon Dwek because she wouldn't. (She didn't take any Dwek loot but took Stuiver along to the meeting two days before the spring 2009 mayoral election.)
Anyone remember this staged performance?
Notice the complicity with the chair in allowing the hijacking of the subject (improper against council rules) on what MSV calls Michael Russo FBI surveillance night. Who was chair of the council meeting?
The Hudson County TV video notes it was Councilwoman Beth Mason who brought up Alicea's meeting with Dwek (in the April 2011 City Council meeting). Mason's attempt to deflect from Michael Russo was stopped by the Corporation Counsel noting Alicea had not been given any legally required Rice notice in advance. The resolution before the council of course was about Russo.
The attempt to spin Michael Russo accepting a bribe into an attack on Alicea in what the Mayor and the public didn't know backfired.
Related: MSV followed its Hoboken exclusive breaking March story with this one leading into the April 2011 council meeting -
Taken in total, it's a window into the Old Guard philosophy and tactics as they circled the wagons on behalf of Michael Russo. A toothless resolution was put forward by Russo cousin Councilwoman Terry Castellano with Timmy Occhipinti and Beth Mason in support backed by then sixth ward councilman Nino Giacchi.
They all knew about the Public Safety Director Angel Alicea meeting with Solomon Dwek two years earlier but never let on choosing to wait to use it for political advantage when the chips were down for Russo.
This is the type of mental gymnastics they do all the time and is a window into their souls. Remember that in January 2014 and spare us any kumbaya nonsense.
The Jersey Journal article where Angel Alicea is reported to have claimed he never met Dwek.