Saturday, May 31, 2014

Appointment of Special Counsel in the HHA opens pathway to justice



Here is the complete, unedited proceedings on the resolution to appoint a Special Counsel to the Hoboken Housing Authority. The appointment clears the way to further examine the massive procurement problems uncovered in the past two months surrounding numerous contracts being unilaterally handed out in the millions by HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia.

The appointment will likely lead to further examination of the HHA's internal machinations and the thousands of dollars Carmelo Garcia took from at least two vendors doing business within the agency without a contract.

The full video running less then 20 minutes concludes before public portion. Some amusing moments lie within, with Carmelo Garcia interjecting the selection of a special counsel contradicts his contract with the HHA and pointing to the discredited HHA counsel and its special counsel as options not necessitating the external contract. Is it possible to have less than zero credibility with the Board of Commissioners?

It's full on hilarity piled one after another. From the attempts to circumvent a legally noticed meeting, to the ironic citations of federal procurement policy, to the less than veiled threats against individual HHA commissioners being held "responsible"- this is full out Hoboken Soprano - HudCo on display in all its maleficent splendor.

And it all comes for naught.

Talking Ed Note: Of note, there weren't many public speakers following. More interesting was the lack of appearances by the Old Guard. Beth Mason showed up at the meeting's start taking one of the only places available, standing room to the right of MSV.

It bears repeating most of the HHA residents attending the meeting were respectful of the proceedings and the microphone levels here were not very good as the new microphones require close, direct speaking so the recording is difficult at times. Carmelo Garcia is heard clearly as he speaks directly into the mic.

Beth Mason incorrectly stated the meeting required seven days notice and complained early on to her staff and others about the proceedings. But it was her disdain exhibited toward Jessica Coco which was shockingly disturbing. She voiced a hyper partisan comment to this editor blaming MSV for Coco's public comments saying, "She learned it from you."

It was utterly disgraceful to hear this coming out of a council member's mouth, speaking about a disabled woman who just survived visits to the hospital not once but twice in recent days with a chronic pulmonary condition.

Beth Mason as MSV has learned, has never attempted to contact Jessica Coco through the months of serious criminal acts marshaled against her: repeated break-ins to her home, vandalism to her car and death threats verified by MSV and recorded here.

Mason however has ignored the sole appearance Coco made before the City Council months ago and turned a deaf ear to her plight altogether voicing support for the undocumented attempted scam on HHA residents and Hoboken in Vision 20/20 at that meeting and since.

The utter depravity is beyond words. Beth Mason, some defender of the poor, the downtrodden and women. More words were exchanged at meeting's end centered on Jessica Coco. Mason ended it changing the subject and voicing ludicrous charges that MSV was responsible for "an attack" on her children.

Is that what's driven Beth Mason to sue numerous Hoboken residents including this editor with a SLAPP civil suit? Absurd!

Related: This MSV October story detailed the crimes against Jessica Coco, the resulting death threat and the likely means of the criminal attacks.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Councilman Cunningham: On Tuesday please vote for Phil Cohen

From the desk of Councilman Peter Cunningham:

Dear friends, family and neighbors,

This Tuesday June 3rd poses to be a very important primary election for us in Hoboken for Freeholder.  Our friend and neighbor Phil Cohen has been fighting the fight for reform and fiscal responsibility in Hoboken and now has a unique opportunity to do the same as our County Freeholder. 

Our County taxes have continued to rise uncontrollably for years without question.  Hoboken's share of County services relative to our increased tax contribution is simply unjustified.  We need a leader that will ask questions and address these issues head on.  Phil has pledged to hire a budget auditor as his primary Freeholder aide.  Phil has also pledged to push for a top down performance audit of all county services to identify waste and promote efficiency.

Please join me and support Column A and Phil Cohen for Freeholder  - www.PhilCohen.org, Tuesday, June 3rd.  Please forward to your friends and neighbors, and let me know if you have any questions.  Thanks!


Peter Cunningham
Sanford-Conrad for Hoboken Republican Committee announce:
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

A little over a month ago we launched our campaign for leadership of the Hoboken Republican Party.  Thank you for your positive response to our campaign.  We appreciate the time, energy, and money that so many of you have donated to our cause.  But the job is not finished yet - this Tuesday, June 3rd, please vote for all of our friends and candidates running under "Column K" on the Hudson County Republican Party line!

The race is almost over and with your help this Tuesday "Column K" is going to win big!

Our campaign has focused on a positive agenda.  We will continue to lead by example and work with all people to act on solving the issues confronting our community.  Our campaign has shown that when we work together we can achieve great things.

Under our leadership the Republican Party will be a force for change in Hoboken.  We ask for your vote to help make change happen in our city.  Together we can speak out on important issues and hold local officials accountable. Together we can build the Republican Party into a viable alternative to the status quo.  Together we can build a record of success and achievement.  That is what our team stands for, and we would be honored to have your vote!

This Tuesday, June 3rd, please help us finish the job, and vote "Column K" for all candidates running under the Hudson County Republican Party line!

With sincere thanks,

James Sanford
Hoboken Republican Chair Nominee

Theodore Conrad
Hoboken Republican Vice-Chair Nominee

Breaking Election News


Last evening, former Assemblyman and City Councilman Ruben Ramos attended a Cohen for Freeholder campaign event, as described on Phil Cohen's Facebook account.  Mayor Zimmer has endorsed Phil Cohen, and Ruben Ramos was Mayor Zimmer's chief rival in last year's hotly contested Hoboken Mayoral election. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sign of the Times: 'We're doing this Old Guard Style.... serious'

The more things change in Hoboken the more they stay the same. Here's a sign of the times; a Romano poster so illegally secured to a utility pole - it may make it through the next freeholder election!

Is this Romano sign illegally secured enough through Tuesday or through 2017?

Jessica Coco speaks out on possible HHA improprieties risking "further retaliation"

Jessica Coco who has been in the hospital recently for pulmonary problems bravely stood in a packed room of HHA residents and neighbors to recount her concerns about possible theft from the HHA and the recent history of outrageous expenditures under HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia.

Beginning her comments, she relayed concerns speaking directly to why the HHA special meeting was actually called "to discuss possible improprieties in the HHA, possible theft of the public monies, monies being taken from HHA residents and possibly being misused for private gain." She would follow saying:


"I know coming here would put me at further risk of retaliation."           
                                                                                          Jessica Coco


As Coco listed previous expenditures in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in what she described as outrageous and improbable charges, Carmelo Garcia turned to HHA counsel Charles Daglian laughing.




Talking Ed Note: More than one person was overheard saying at meeting's end how brave Jessica Coco was for attending the meeting and publicly making her voice heard.  After she did, she was promptly attacked by not one but two "tenant advocates" in the HHA. One was interrupted for starting trouble at the end of the meeting and saying she would "see her outside."

MSV immediately stepped in from all of three feet to say leave her alone. An African American man about 6'4" 330 pounds (and rumored HHA employee) then leaned over from behind ominously saying, "Mind your own business."

That didn't stop this horse and the implied threat was halted right then and there as Beth Mason voiced displeasure standing with paid staff, unhappy with the intervention.

Fortunately, a police officer was standing two feet to the right and no further incidents followed.  (Captain Eddie Garcia and the HPD in attendance deserve recognition for their fine efforts, along with the security staff at City Hall for a job exceedingly well done.)

Many of the HHA residents in attendance were actually respectful during Coco's comments and can be heard urging decorum to hear Coco's remarks. These were people conned into attending based on the Carmelo Garcia's false flag flyer. They truly believed they were there on an issue of their homes being  threatened.

Coco said she felt safe enough to attend the meeting - filled to capacity in the City Council chambers, something she does not feel is possible in regular HHA venues. Anthony "Stick" Romano talked about concerns from residents the meeting was held in the City Council chambers but the decorum at this meeting far exceeded recent others and the capacity was maxed out.

It shouldn't be understated the bravery of this one woman in the HHA standing up. This is unheard of with the abuse of women historically within the agency and the criminality she's faced only makes it more evident not less.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

HHA special meeting passes resolution 5-2 to appoint special counsel

MSV BREAKING REPORT: 

In a filled standing room only meeting of mostly Hoboken Housing Authority members backing embattled controversial HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia, the Board of Commissioners approved a resolution to appoint a special counsel to review the procurement issues uncovered in recent months 5-2.

Garcia would attempt to interject during the commissioners discussion his legal objections prior to the vote and eventually HHA legal counsel Charles Daglian would state his opinion the procurement process to hire a special legal counsel was not appropriate as it wasn't "an emergency."

After the vote among those who would speak in public portion were Garcia Assembly aide Patricia Waiters, HHA activist Jessica Coco, Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano, Councilwoman Beth Mason and Michele Russo.

The resolution was challenged almost immediately by Garcia after passage with complaints by Mason the meeting was not adequately noticed seven days. Standing next to Da Horsey in the standing room only room, Mason would clearly demonstrate her opposition to the action in the resolution mouthing disagreement throughout.

Garcia's comments made it clear he will do whatever is possible to circumvent and challenge the vote and prevent an independent legal counsel to investigate actions taken under his direction within the HHA.

As he did to the commissioners originally on a legal counsel contract in early 2013, Garcia said the vote would lead to the individual commissioners being individually liable and referred to the last surviving vestige of his lawsuit against the HHA not thrown out of Hudson County Superior Court on the first pass.

The previous "ethnic cleansing" lawsuit was already thrown out and five of the six allegations in Garcia's amended lawsuit have already met the same fate.

Here's the complete unedited remarks of Carmelo Garcia. He outlines his actions by referring to the New Testament and then goes on to make a political attack on the mayor saying he is a victim (in line with his lawsuit).

The five dozen residents of the HHA, some who clearly did not understand the resolution at hand ate up the "religious" revival meeting in Garcia's remarks. Well Jessica Coco sitting in the front row clearly wasn't buying it.

Commissioners voting in favor of the resolution to appoint a special counsel: Judy Burrell, David Dening, James Sanford, Dave Mello and Chair Dana Wefer.

Commissioners voting against: Jeanne Rodridguez, Rob Davis.




Talking Ed Note: Last I looked both the Old and New Testament upheld commandment no. 7 - "Thou shall not steal."

It certainly was a fascinating performance seeing Mr. Garcia making claims about the procurement policy not being followed in the appointment of a special counsel. (The special counsel will be charged with reviewing millions of dollars in procurement unilaterally approved by Garcia if the allegations on that issue come to light and prove out.)

Garcia didn't say anything about the thousands of dollars he's taken from current HHA vendors.

All of HudCo is watching!

Tonight the showdown on appointing a special counsel could spell trouble for the Executive Director Carmelo Garcia in his contracted role to the HHA - or worse.

The prevent defense deployed by Garcia is not holding to this point.

Carmelo Garcia is looking at a different direction with a special counsel meeting lined up tonight at City Hall.
It's not one from his playbook and this one he doesn't make the signal calls spelling big trouble.

The rest of this story is MSV Premium Content.

Fear mongering tactics appear with flyer on HHA Special Meeting tonight @ City Hall

MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE



Carmelo Garcia in desperate action to stave off Special Counsel investigation in the HHA

A flyer appearing at the doors of HHA residents yesterday falsely states their "homes are at stake" leading into the special meeting tonight at City Hall 7:30 in City Council chambers.

While a special meeting is mentioned as called by Chairwoman Dana Wefer, the real reason for the meeting is not mentioned anywhere. The communication urges HHA residents to come to the meeting implicitly with the objective to not saving their homes but aiding Carmelo Garcia, the controversial contracted head of the agency who is under fire for numerous problems revealed within the HHA in recent months.

On tap is one resolution for consideration to appoint a special counsel who would have powers to investigate alleged malfeasance reported in vendor contributions to Executive Director Carmelo Garcia and procurement outside of federal guidelines in the millions of dollars.

At least two HHA vendors have been identified as doing work in the HHA with no contract valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and giving money in political contributions to Carmelo Garcia.

Flyers are restricted in the HHA to landlord approval so the massive leafleting is viewed by residents as coming from Carmelo Garcia himself.

The flyer posted yesterday advises there will be shuttle buses beginning at 6:30 tonight to City Hall for the special meeting.

The Hoboken Police Department is expected to be in attendance.

There will be no live feed by City Hall as this is a federal meeting not a City of Hoboken meeting.

The public may attend and after the resolution is considered, a public portion will be available.
The meeting is scheduled for 7:30.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Carmelo Garcia attempts to explain alleged law breaking and federal procurement violations in the millions of dollars

Mister Carmelo finds himself in trouble and offers "answers" as special counsel investigation looms.


 


Controversial Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Carmelo Garcia who also is a NJ Assemblyman finds himself in hot water on several fronts and last week made remarks on the matters for the first time on the record to Hudson County TV investigative reporter John Heinis.

Garcia says there is "no prohibition" on his taking money under his Assemblyman banner and claimed it's "completely irrelevant" that he did so from HHA vendors.

However last weekend, Dean DeChiaro wrote of the law stating otherwise:

the New Jersey Local Government Ethics Law that is cited in the HHA's own policies states that "Public housing authority officers, employees or agents shall not solicit or accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from contractors, potential contractors or parties to contractors...

Garcia who is not an employee of the HHA but a contractor would be subject to the law. He's stated he has not accepted any "gratuities" while at the same time defending the thousands of dollars he's taken from HHA vendors.

MSV had previously written in an exclusive investigative report Carmelo Garcia took thousands of dollars from current HHA vendors in March of this year in political contributions.

In addition, Garcia says salt corrosion is an "emergency" and was an "eminent danger" as a reason for his unilaterally authorizing no bid contracts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars before he accepted money from HHA vendors.

On the subject of Garcia's refusal to answer commissioner questions on numerous bills at the May HHA meeting, a clarification was offered for his needing to speak to his "personal lawyer." The veil of earlier filed civil lawsuits is the reason Garcia presents for not answering but his first lawsuit has already been thrown out in its entirety and five of the six allegations in the second amended lawsuit have already met the same fate on the first pass in Hudson County Superior Court.

HHA Chairwoman Dana Wefer said the refusal to answer to the board on illicit billings apparently in the million of dollars in no bid contracts is unacceptable and falls outside HUD's federal procurement rules. At the last meeting, Garcia sought support from HHA counsel Charles Daglian on the issue but the legal counsel concluded, "In general, you should go out to bid."

Last, the claim of a "wonderful victory" by Carmelo Garcia on his lawsuit of a default win against the City of Hoboken, Mayor Zimmer and the Hoboken Housing Authority itself was tossed last week as reported here on MSV. The action issued by Judge Costello last week was confirmed in the Friday hearing last week in Hudson County Superior Court.

Tomorrow at 7:30 a special Hoboken Housing Authority meeting will take place in the City Council chambers with a pending resolution before the seven member HHA Board of Commissioners to hire a special counsel to investigate the complete scope of alleged improprieties. The meeting was noticed last weekend.

Talking Ed Note: Whatever laws on taking money from vendors and federal procurement policies have been allegedly broken, Carmelo Garcia wants that put aside so you keep in mind what he says is the issue:

He's a victim.

Advocate of Hoboken explains why voting for Phil Cohen on June 3rd is important


Vote for Phil Cohen on June 3rd for County Freeholder.  Your taxes and property value depend on it!
Hi all, 



Did you know that your Hudson County Taxes are greater than your Hoboken taxes? Election June 3rd. Please vote.

Your property taxes are based on your assessed value.  Assessed value is a function of the property value.  Hoboken just had a city-wide revaluation that took effect in Hoboken so that the assessed values are based on the property values as of January 2014.  Hoboken enjoyed the lion's share of the real estate rebound since the crash in 2008.  Our neighbors in other Hudson County towns did enjoy increases in value but relatively less.  What does this mean for you?  The double whammy.

The County budget goes up, everyone's property taxes go up.  Hoboken's real estate appreciated at a higher rate than surrounding towns, we get to pay a bigger portion of that bigger budget.

The county budget and taxes have risen by 30% in the last 5 years.  Hoboken, Jersey City have had to tighten their belts, cut out waste on the municipal level in the last 5 years given what happened to the economy.  In the meantime, the county budget has gone unchecked.

Phil Cohen is running for county freeholder.  A reformist who wants to audit the county budget.  He is supported and endorsed by Mayor Zimmer, Mayor Steve Fulop of Jersey City, Senator Cory Booker.  These folks represent good, transparent government where taxes are spent on public works not patronage jobs.

We need this audit.  I believe that if Phil gets in, we'll get the audit and find out what has been inflating our county taxes - graft, patronage jobs, unchecked waste.  This is important to you as property owners, people who want to buy property and as Tenants.

When property taxes go up, values go down.  Back in 2010, I saw an alarming trend where folks who wanted to move to Hudson County opted for Brooklyn and Queens specifically because they couldn't see paying all that money in tax.  You pay more for real estate in Brooklyn and Queens but the taxes are relatively lower.  People felt that at least when they sold they would get the purchase price back.  Taxes you can't recover.  Mayor Zimmer brought the municipal taxes down, the Board of Ed has been flat since 2008 up until this year.  Let's not allow taxes to go that untenable level where buyers prefer the outer boroughs to Hoboken and downtown JC.

Hoboken pays a disproportionally high share of county taxes yet we get very little for it.  If you don't vote, don't complain when you taxes go up and your property value goes down.  If you are a Tenant, your Landlord can pass property tax increases on to you.


Vote on June 3rd.  Vote for Phil Cohen.  

The Corruptocrats are out in force in the projects "hiring" low income housing residents to work on their campaign (as long as they hand in their absentee ballot).  Don't let them win by not showing up.


The election is June 3rd please vote.  Vote for Phil Cohen.

If you haven't registered or you know someone new to town, here is the voter registration form:

Monday, May 26, 2014

Honor them

On this day, please take time to honor those who have made the supreme sacrifice to defend and preserve Our Republic.


Friday, May 23, 2014

BREAKING: HOBOKEN HOUSING AUTHORITY SPECIAL MEETING CALLED TO CONSIDER SPECIAL COUNSEL APPOINTMENT

MILE SQUARE VIEW SPECIAL REPORT



SPECIAL HHA MEETING WILL CONSIDER SPECIAL COUNSEL APPOINTMENT PUTTING THE PROCUREMENT PRACTICES BY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CARMELO GARCIA UNDER SCRUTINY


The Hoboken Housing Authority will hold a special meeting next Wednesday evening in City Council Chambers to consider a resolution appointing a Special Counsel to comprehensively review and make recommendations on its procurement practices.

The meeting called by Hoboken Housing Authority Chairwoman Dana Wefer gives the full seven members of the HHA Board of Commissioners the option to appoint attorney Joseph A. Manfredi as a special counsel to investigate the HHA's procurement actions.

Deep concerns were raised at the last May meeting where two vendors were identified as billing the HHA for hundreds of thousands of dollars with no existing contract. 

Controversial HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia's procurement practices are in the spotlight with a Special Counsel up for appointment next Wednesday. A thorough investigation into those actions in the the HHA could follow if the board approves a special counsel. More than troubling questions and answers may follow.

The resolution proposed for passage at the meeting states the HHA Board of Commissioners "desires to have Special Counsel advise... of its legal obligations and options should Special Counsel's review and analysis find that the Procurement Policy, state or federal bidding laws, and/or state or local ethics laws were violated..."

The attorney under consideration in the resolution for Special Counsel appointment is Joseph A. Manfredi who has specific experience on federal procurement policies in federal housing authorities.

Garcia's attorney, Louis Zayas said earlier his client welcomed an investigation if there was any suspicion of wrongdoing.

At the May meeting, when asked to explain the billings into the hundreds of thousands of dollars at the last meeting, HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia declined saying he needed to speak to his "personal lawyer" but then attempted to claim one of the vendors six figure plus billings were sanctioned as "emergencies" and did not require the authorization of the HHA Board of Commissioners.

However, the practice of emergency billings has its own mandated federal process and requires a clear and present danger to residents. Neither of those requirements appear to be satisfied with Garcia's claims presenting huge bills 19 months after Hurricane Sandy.

After the last HHA meeting, MSV discovered the vendors in question both had given Garcia thousands of dollars in political contributions last March. The pay to play actions by Garcia adds another troubling element of concern on his practices within the HHA.

The earlier MSV exclusive investigative report is available here.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Grist for the Mill: Carmelo Garcia and attorney Louis Zayas see civil lawsuit "victory" vacated

The self-declared victory by Carmelo Garcia and ethnic cleansing attorney Louis Zayas surrounding their civil suit refiled against the City of Hoboken, Mayor Zimmer and the Hoboken Housing Authority is no more.

No more as in kaput.

Legal sources knowledgeable with the case said a notification from Judge Costello's office vacated the default "win" late yesterday.

The short lived civil lawsuit victory declared by Louie Zayas and planted in a Jersey Journal story lasted all of three business days.

Most legal beagles familiar with Zayas' action laughed at the attempted end run on the court saying the self-declared default "win" would die a quick death.

Carmelo Garcia's civil lawsuit "default" victory is vacated making way
for the scheduled hearing on motions against the last vestige of his case tomorrow. 

The legal action taken by Judge Costello means outstanding motions before the court challenging the last vestige of Carmelo Garcia's "ethnic cleansing" lawsuit will be up for dismissal in reconsideration scheduled tomorrow.

Most of Carmelo Garcia's civil lawsuit was dismissed on the first pass earlier this year. His first civil lawsuit claiming Mayor Zimmer was responsible for "ethnic cleansing" had already been thrown out of court in its entirety.

Zayas told the Jersey Journal he would be seeking $5,000 a day in damages for "the harassment" Garcia allegedly suffered over the course of a year.

Garcia has been thwarted in his attempts to maintain unilateral control over the Hoboken Housing Authority, its seven member board and force the City of Hoboken to capitulate to his undocumented massive redevelopment "plan" Vision 20/20.

The cynical civil lawsuits tried to gain headway applying an intimidation factor to the November election but Mayor Zimmer easily distanced her rivals sweeping City Hall and re-establishing a working council majority coalition.

One of the attorneys representing the defendants, Gerald Krovatin had previously stated there were standing motions before the court scheduled for the 23rd and the motion for default should have been dismissed.

Now it has.

Talking Ed Note: The legal pr stunt is terminated and places the focus on Carmelo Garcia back on his pay to play actions in the HHA as Executive Director where he took thousands of dollars from two vendors in political contributions who hold no contract. Expenditures running into the hundreds of thousands for both vendors fail to satisfy federal procurement policies.

Carmelo Garcia unilaterally declared much of the earlier vendor spending an "emergency" related to Hurricane Sandy 19 months back but the billings fail to satisfy that designation and were not approved by the HHA commissioners in advance as required by HUD regulations.

Mayor: 'Don't let the suggested donation stop you from joining us tonight.'

Blog      Volunteer      Contribute

Dear MSV readers --

From 2009 to 2014 our County taxes will increase by a monstrous 30 percent! This is unacceptable and we need Phil Cohen as our Freeholder on June 3rd to bring change to County government. Together we brought reform to Hoboken government, and now, with your help we can bring reform to the County too.  

Please come and join a party at my house with Mayor Fulop (59 Madison, Apt. #2) tonight from 6-8 to rally the troops and help pay the costs to get out the vote on June 3rd. 

The suggested donation is $250 but we welcome everyone to come and give what you can to help make sure that Phil wins this important County election. If you are a Republican who supports reform, you cannot vote in the primary, but you can show your support by coming tonight, volunteering to help, and getting your Democratic and Unaffiliated friends out to vote on June 3rd. 

cohen-zimmer-fulop.jpg
I am standing strongly behind Phil because I know he will fight for the interests of his constituents. Please help by rallying your friends to make sure to get out and vote on June 3rd, and to get their friends to vote as well.  
This is our chance to finally make a difference at the County level. Together let's seize this opportunity by helping Phil to make phone calls, knocking on doors and making sure to get your friends out to vote on June 3rd.  

If you are interested in volunteering contact Zach, Phil's campaign manager at ztbesq@gmail.com or stop by the campaign headquarters at 117 Washington Street on the 2nd floor.  

Hope to see you all on Thursday and/or out on the campaign trail for the sprint to the finish line on June 3rd.  

Thanks very much.

Dawn

http://www.dawnzimmer.com/

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Fixin' the roads - $2,000,000 bond for Hoboken on tap @ 8:00


Technical problems look to have reappeared at City Hall resulting in no live or online record of the City Council meeting.

-*-

The pulse of Hoboken is shifting rapidly as the better weather combines with the holiday weekend ahead making the council meeting tonight feel anti-climatic.

It shouldn't be as one of the biggest concerns is the state of the roads after a very harsh winter severely impacted the region.

Six votes are needed for the City to make some headway to tackle the woeful state of our local roadways with a $2,000,000 bond.

One can only hope it's not as painful as the basic things needed for Hoboken. Common sense says the vote should be unanimous but often it isn't and politics with a barrel of sabotage is too tempting for some to resist.

Perhaps the political reality of the public vocally going off should temper such ideas.
Certainly way past time.

Talking Ed Note: The meeting time tonight is delayed due to the Hoboken Memorial Day Parade.

The budget and a political resolution attacking the BoE is on tap too but the timing couldn't be worse following the announcement of 63 layoffs just this past week. That's the Old Guard council for ya.

The agenda: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/agenda14/revised-ccm-5-21-14


Update: The $2,000,000 bond for road repair passed last night unanimously 9-0.

THIS IS OUR TOWN!

Some chatter in the comments yesterday about the determinism by Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano there's nothing to be done about taxes. Coming from someone who lives in a subsidized housing unit and is a wealthy resident with property and businesses in town, this stuck in the craw of many.

Then there's reference to a sign in the window. Well, it certainly does reflect an old standby video from back in the day of the Wiley Coyote. Apparently, some long time residents recall that too.

Is this another divisive clarion call to Old Guard voters? Will Old Hoboken fall in line or will they hear Freeholder candidate Phil Cohen's message that the double digit tax increases from the County are enough?

June 3rd is the primary and when we get the answer.

Anthony Stick Romano's campaign window has generated interest with this slight MSV alteration:
It's not the whole message with "Get out of our go&%^$ town" but it's close.


Tonight the City Council will meet after the annual Hoboken Memorial Day Parade.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

For Freeholder, election time means the Old Guard appeal of division

The Old Guard is mobilizing behind Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano, one of their own who is expected to continue in a path where taxes are not a high priority and the favor bank cultivated behind closed doors is the system most adhered.

The election is shaping up as one where the Old Guard will appeal to its base in subsidized housing in Hoboken: Marine View, Church Towers, Applied, etc. and hope to turn out enough votes to offset a sleepy spring electorate in a primary election.

On the scene in front of Romano's HQ is a familiar face working for Beth Mason who is well known for rounding up those elusive votes in the Hoboken Housing Authority using the "hand me the paper ballot and we'll fill it out for you" voting system.

Oh Vote by Mail how you've been so missed these many months.

Then there was this little gem of divide and conquer fame appearing on Facebook:


Talking Ed Note: Stick Romano appeals to the funding gods in a nice guy call that jobs on the Hoboken BoE won't be lost. Nothing wrong there.

What follows is the more base instincts playing the blame game and an old divisive card. Well election season doesn't often bring out the best in some.

Phil Cohen is running a positive campaign in Hoboken and Jersey City. This election may mean we'll have to wait and see who shows up to vote.

This Freeholder election is most important with the dynamics of change on tap as Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop are teamed up with a unique opportunity to move county government in a new direction. Together, they have an opportunity to drive a freeholder majority in a direction Hudson County has never been nor may wish to go.

On June 3rd, Hoboken voters will have an opportunity to move that change forward at the County, something not many thought possible any time soon.

But here it is.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Thursday night reception for Freeholder candidate Phil Cohen at the home of Mayor Dawn Zimmer

Thursday night, Freeholder candidate will be holding a cocktail reception at the home of Mayor Dawn Zimmer with special guest Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop.

The Thursday evening event is scheduled 6:00 - 8:00 pm.

Print out and/or RSVP by Wednesday to 
Elyse Leddy at (201) 457 – 0590 

Board of Ed announces 63 layoffs

The BoE's preliminary budget stating numerous factors would lead to its needing to make layoffs grew with an announcement that 63 employees will be laid off due to cuts in the 2014 budget.

Three teachers connected to preschool classes are included in the layoffs as part of an outsourcing plan for preschool.

MSV previously listed a number of factors involved in an earlier story where the budget was seeing pressures even with a seven figure reduction as a starting point.

Superintendent Dr. Toback is quoted as saying the cuts come from all aspects of the operations: administration, business office, custodial, transportation, instructional aides, security while teaching and learning were protected as much as possible. He also said working with the unions to save more jobs was part of the ongoing process.



Special education student bus drivers are part of the reductions and privatization of that role is in the works too.

Dr. Toback lists a number of factors according to a weekend story by Dean DeChario.
Among them *:
  • reduced state aid
  • 40% reduced federal aid
  • charter school cost increases
  • reduced "school choice" students - out of town students are restricted by new state guidelines
  • lunch program debt pay down - an outstanding bill of families who failed to pay for school lunches

The BoE will not see an estimated $250,000 from the school choice program.

A 2% tax cap on the school district does not apply to the cost of Hoboken charters schools. The charter schools are funded not by the State but by Hoboken taxpayers who pay about 90% of the costs. Additional charter costs have been pegged at 779K across all three.

BoE taxes are slated to increase 3.9%.

See the link for the full feature by Dean DeChario

Related: A March story foretold the government funding problems hitting the district.

* MSV is not able to confirm the numerical costs for each of the factors at press time.

The BoE put together a presentation on its status available here.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

HHA Chair Wefer: slams Carmelo Garcia "impropriety" and 250K in no bid contracts

HHA Chairwoman hits out on "appearance of impropriety" and 250K in no bid contracts in HHA by Carmelo Garcia who took thousands of dollars from two vendors.


In the first interview with HHA Chairwoman Dana Wefer, HCTV chief investigative reporter John  Heinis discussed the revelations of Carmelo Garcia taking money from vendors without a contract in the agency.

Wefer expresses deep concerns about the "appearance of impropriety" in Carmelo Garcia taking money for his Assembly campaign last March and questions the non-emergency expenditures of the two vendors in question: Hauser Bros., and Hadad Electrical.

In the video, Wefer says Hadad Electrical billed the HHA over $170,000 this year alone.
Additionally, she references billings over 171,000 in 2014.

Neither firms has a contract with the Hoboken Housing Authority but Hauser Bros held an expiring contract back in 2013. Wefer cites that lack of a contract and Garcia's continuing "unilateral" decision to allow them to make six figure billings problematic.

Both of the companies billing in the HHA made political contributions to Garcia on March 11, 2014.

Wefer also says in the interview that Hurricane Sandy can not be used an excuse for "emergency" billings as Garcia claimed at the last HHA meeting. He attempted to get HHA counsel to agree but Charles Daglian said an emergency billing is fine, "but in general you should go out to bid."

Regarding emergencies, Wefer says the legal requirement is for "life and death situations." Garcia had defended the massive billings for Haddad Electrical saying there addressed "salt corrosion" and were all "emergencies."

Wefer is pointing to these massive billings as outside of the federal required procurement requirement totaling almost $250,000.

"There is the appearance of impropriety that we really want to get to the bottom of to make sure that everything is being done competitively for the (HHA) residents." 


- Dana Wefer HHA Chairwoman



Video courtesy of Hudson County TV:


Wefer rejected the notion Garcia can avoid providing public records of the HHA bills to its Board of Commissioners because he's suing the agency, the City of Hoboken, etc..

Garcia is suing the City of Hoboken, Mayor Zimmer, the Hoboken Housing Authority but his amended filing has already been mostly thrown out and the last vestige, a vague element about political association and speech being challenged in court later this week in Hudson County Superior Court on May 23rd.

Ethnic Cleansing attorney Louis Zayas speaking for Carmelo Garcia, attacked Dana Wefer calling her recitation of facts "slanderous" and said Garcia's problems stemmed from him not giving contracts to supporters of the mayor.

Zayas has made the same vague charges in his civil lawsuit filings but it's already been thrown out of court. Over months, Zayas has failed to name one firm or individual Mayor Zimmer tried to get a contract for within the HHA.

Last, Mr. Zayas says he and his client welcome any investigation.


Talking Ed Note: Oh this story is not going away. Ready for the heat Hoboken?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Years after 2011 campaign, Beth Mason and Richard G. Mason of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz make suspicious ELEC filings

Beth Mason and husband, Richard G. Mason in latest ELEC "laundered" revelations into 2014

According to an investigative report appearing on GA yesterday, a scheme to avoid showing payments re: disbursements to political operatives is made "clean" through the magic of a laundry mat designating tens of thousands of dollars in payments "in-kind" distributions.

None of this appears remotely a legal method to make payments for services to Beth Mason's political operatives. The chart below shows a huge outlay long after the 2011 election was over but Beth Mason was feeding huge sums moving in and out of the account for activities of dubious value.

The reporting filed up to last month of this year is equally problematic or worse.

According to the report these outlays cover reporting by Beth Mason and Richard G. Mason of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz who acted as his wife's Treasurer for the 2011 campaign.




These payments were being used in 2012 for the Nazi Truck and its five night voyage into Hoboken back in November of 2012.  (More on this with evidence at a later date.)

Your equine reporting editor here had his name and phone number plastered on a video urging residents to call and complain about hateful imagery on the Nazi Truck nights three and four.

Nazi Truck night five was an advertisement appearing on cable tv and then on the streets of Hoboken on the evening of the BoE elections with all the Move Forward BoE candidates.

The latest blockbuster to come to light takes a twisted and odd route showing how monies were routed in late 2012 to fund five separate trips of the infamous BoE campaign Move Forward Nazi Truck.

The anonymous defamatory attacks went after a whole slew of people part of the loosely organized reform movement and all considered enemies of Beth Mason and her army of operatives: Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Council President Jen Giattino, Councilman Peter Cunningham, the 2012 Kids First candidate slate, Grafix Avenger and also MSV.

A Hoboken Police Officer walks over to investigate Beth Mason's Nazi Truck outside City Hall back in 2012.
The video is featured from nights three and four of its five date Hoboken tour.
Hoboken rabbis would later ask for a public apology as it rumbled up and down Washington Street flashing a Nazi swasttika all over town and outside a BoE and City Council meeting. Beth Mason never did.

At the time, most Hoboken residents were focused on emergency efforts either to cope with the aftermath of the storm and/or helping their neighbors and community. MSV saw tens of thousands of visits from people all around the country concerned for Hoboken.

Take a look at the detailed investigative findings on GA.

The Beth Mason 2011 council campaign is long over but the monies just went right on going - incoming and outgoing - for all kinds of political operations unrelated to anything on the council or Beth Mason qualifying as remotely transparent.

It's all in the shadows. Time to get paid.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Jamie Cryan snags HudCo plum, named Parking Director of West New York

Hoboken resident Jamie Cryan, a Hudson County Planning Board member and chair of the Hoboken Democratic Committee has officially been named the Parking Director for West New York.

Word of the appointment came last Saturday in Augie Torres' Political Insider column.

West New York's new corporate counsel, Donald Scarinci said of the appointment, "He's got lots of roots in Hudson County." 

An interview discussing the appointment comes courtesy Hudson County TV.


Video Courtesy of Hudson County TV


Talking Ed Note: We're already hearing of the discontent in West New York as residents are furious an obvious political appointment has been made and an "outsider" with no resume for the position is being brought in rewarded with the job.

Jamie is the cousin of former NJ Assembly leader Joe Cryan. He was slated to run for council on the Raia-Mason ticket last fall but bailed when threatened with exposure by Ruben Ramos supporters. That council slate seat for the campaign was then filled by BoE trustee Peter Biancamano.

Jamie was positioned almost immediately as a new face of the Old Guard back in 2010 when he was named the official "campaign manager" for the Tim Occhipinti council campaign. The real campaign manager running the show was Tom Bertoli, a senior advisor to Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and a rising star among political consultants in the state.

Did you hear Scarinci speak to any qualifications? Does Jamie speak Spanish? Will the Hudson Reporter editors decry the action and question why a "Latin American" native to West New York wasn't selected?

We're not talking about a thankless task on an unpaid Hoboken board - this is a paid plum patronage position in West New York.

MSV breaks new milestone: 4,000,000 hits!

MSV has officially surpassed 4,000,000 hits.


That's eight million eyeballs, less one or two if you subtract One Eye, Hoboken super sleuth who is known to bandy about these parts here and there.

That's bucket loads of agita for the Old Guard who certainly will not be celebrating this milestone.
Not bad for a 'vanity blog.'

Well, MSV isn't a blog. Not by any standard definition of the word. This is a hard news website with an eye to trampling corruption at every turn.

Thanks to everyone who has played a role in this website's success. In the end, every Hoboken resident owns a piece of this website's achievements whether a reader, an occasional commenter, or by talking about a story appearing here with a neighbor.

Our institutions in Hoboken are almost always under duress in the Jeffersonian tradition as our Founding Father said, "When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."

The Old Guard is fearless when it comes to corruption. They however don't call it corruption, they call it tradition, an entitlement as in "my turn." Using or rather abusing local government is a means to power, money, housing and special favors of every kind - and mostly at your expense. They call it "a business." For most of you reading this, they hate your "yuppie" guts. They however loveyourtaxmoney and hate a Horse more for obvious reasons.

A very special thanks to that remarkable group of individuals who have extended support through the SLAPP, an ugly cynical attack on the First Amendment backed by the most vile, vindictive and yes corrupt elements. Your voice is carried here even as most have not heard our real voice, only the one read here at MSV. Bravo to you all!

We've all made a mark in transforming Hoboken as a proud part of the Reform Movement. 
Thank you Hoboken; a demanding mistress who asks for your heart and gives you her soul.

Thanks most of all to Jimmy the K, MSV's Executive Publisher who has stood steadfastly by through it all.



Da Horsey, SmartyJones
The Hudson Mile Square View
http://hobokenhorse.com

Hoboken's best site for government, politics and corruption.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Parking ticket fever hits Hoboken and a remedy for some hit with the plague

Consider this a temporary reprieve from Carmelo "pay to play" Garcia," the Assemblyman who has stitched together the most beautiful quilt of Hatch Act evasion pocketing money from vendors to the Hoboken Housing Authority.

And look it's a multicultural quilt, Hamiltons, Benjamins all denominations coming together to Mr. Carmelo's bank account. This diversity of benevolent currency brings a tear to your eyes. (Talk among yourselves and the editors of the Hudson Reporter.)

While Mr. Carmelo remains on evasive maneuvers, having absolutely nothing to say about his pay to play scheme as Executive Director of the Hoboken Housing Authority, let's tackle the thorny problem of a Hoboken bureaucracy run amok.

We're of course talking about the overly efficient for many Hoboken Parking Utility.

A sample pile of parking tickets not Hoboken.
But it's the fear and reality for many in town who feel blitzed.
Some have a strong case for overcharges and will see a City refund.

Hoboken is taking action apparently from some systematic overcharges on a number of parking violations, on average it comes to about $20. But, when you total up the errors compounded by other potential mistakes the City may in the end be returning almost $100,000 to the citizenry victims.

According to a Star Ledger story, one man led a personal battle after arriving to move his car during a snow emergency and not being allowed to do so, car keys in hand. It's a legal violation more wrong than where he parked and he is joined by approximately 3,000 others hit with overcharges.

Now everyone has a parking story in the Mile Square City. You can't live in Hoboken without having one, whether you were ticketed, booted, towed or had a friend decline to visit anymore because after circling your neighborhood for 20 minutes they gave up on trying to find a parking spot.

Back when Hoboken replaced the crooked quarters regime leader, the new guy Ian Sacs came in and overhauled many things - including the parking meters looted of about four million quarters. That's right, Hoboken had a vendor, a south Jersey mob connected arcade firm doing the count on its premises not even ten years ago. So the quarters were "collected" and transported down to a back room where a count was taken and month in and month out more and more quarters kept disappearing from the deposit slips.

Sacs however wasn't really credited much for the achievement of putting an end to the practice. He was reviled and attacked at most every City Council meeting taking some of the most abusive attacks of any Mayor Zimmer director month in and month out.

He was guilty of many things as far as the Old Guard council was concerned, worse than the guy before him who failed to pay tribute and get the green light to pocket all the quarters without kicking up properly. 

That led to one former parking director being outed in a council meeting and landing up in state prison.

Back to our story, at least one City approved towing firm was billing "clients" amounts exceeding the City ordinance. From the Star Ledger:

Hoboken passed a resolution to give a $20 to refund more than 3,200 drivers whose cars were towed in the city dating back to December 2012. That adds up to more than $64,000 that was wrongly collected and is now heading back into the pockets of drivers.

This one particular overcharge was a clerical error, the city said: What should have been a $25 service charge was automatically billed as $45. The error has since been corrected in its computers, the city said.

For starters, the city will refund money to 2,322 drivers who had easily identifiable information and New Jersey license plates. The others towed vehicles were from out-of-state or from leasing companies and will require more legwork to track down, Hoboken spokesman Juan Melli said.

The City is also reining in other errors seeking out other injured parties who were charged inappropriately a storage fee of $30 per day. In the end, the City may be returning $100,00 or more to all the individuals - a process requiring labor intensive review.

As it should.

The Ramones pumped out their Blitzkreig Bop but in Hoboken
many residents feel like they are facing a different blitz - of parking tickets.

Talking Ed Note: Who hasn't had a friend call on a mobile saying they can't deal with visiting you anymore because there's no parking on a Saturday night, they don't want to get a ticket because the signage created more than a decade ago uses the exact same colors, is confusing and on and on it goes.

Reports of the ticketing efficiency though has the perception of reaching all time highs. There's a sense that not only do you risk a ticket or a boot in Hoboken but you may be ticketed multiple times in minutes, hours, days and come back to find a stack of them for an oversight, like an expired inspection sticker.

Worse, MSV has heard strong reform backers recount individual stories of abuse. One said some time back a whole side of their block had been booted. Turned out to be a complete cluster&%#*. Not one of the people booted had done anything wrong in parking and a city employee believed to be relatively new erred. All of the victims shuffled down to clear the matter up and were told by the unmovable bureaucracy they had to go through the process - no different than criminals being booked and fingerprinted. Outraged bonding among the victims commenced.

If that's your warm and fuzzy encounter with local municipal government, what taste do you think that leaves?

In the end, Mayor Zimmer owns it. All of it. As the CEO of the Hoboken government she's responsible for all of her directors, their achievements and their failures. That's how it works.

Sometimes as CEO, you have to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty and look beyond the line item on a profit and loss spread sheet. This is one of those times.

With the tremendous progress the mayor has made in stabilizing the City's finances among the crisis to crisis problems she had to endure in her first term, this is one that has a direct bearing on how many residents will view her personally - fair or not.

The matters of public perception is a political reality and one demanding it be embraced. While the City Council has begun reviewing some aspects of parking in committee, the mayor should be leading the charge and reconsidering the ridiculous signage with the same green and white colors on both sides among the long list of issues which can be tackled.

It's time and for many, it's way past time.

As for Mr. Carmelo, his time was up a long time ago. If he had ANY honor, he would have resigned already. But there is no honor among thieves, this is Hoboken.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Status of plans for HHA generators

Many questions have been posed about the generators sitting in the HHA parking lot. Some of the questions were answered last Thursday but further action and installation will await a potential funding option proposed by the City of Hoboken to ensure the safe installation and protection of the corresponding electrical panels for each of the generators.

Chief Investigative Reporter John Heinis of HCTV offered this report with video:

Hoboken Housing Authority sends generator engineering study to city council. After close to 40 minutes of discussion at Thursday’s meeting, the HHA agreed to have an engineering study funded by the city to determine how to install generators and their accompanying sub-panels – pending approval from the city council.




Video courtesy Hudson County TV

Horse Sense: Carmelo Garcia goes to ground as pay to play comes to light

Carmelo Garcia's self-proclaimed victimization terminally exposed with pay to play violations

Embattled Executive Director Carmelo Garcia has gone to ground, in hiding after the undisputed connection between his taking money from at least two vendors in the Hoboken Housing Authority was revealed in an MSV investigative report yesterday.

Key questions arise with at least two firms, Hauser Bros. Inc. and Haddad Electrical. Both firms gave money to Garcia in the form of political contributions last March as billings not authorized in advance by the HHA board skyrocketed well into six figures.

The whole affair has the familiar Old Guard taint of how business is done in Hoboken. That taint extends to a political operation conducted hand in hand with the pro Old Guard media; the Hudson Distorter where the publisher and its editors rolled out a coordinated attack against reform elements leading to a key council appointment using the lowest race baiting tactics in an attempt to forestall further scrutiny in the HHA.

While the Hudson Reporter has continued to defend its support of "benevolent race baiting" by itself and its Old Guard allies, unbearably so with its publishing numerous easily disproved racial remarks by Carmelo Garcia's paid aide, it avoided basic, minimal due diligence in looking where the smoke has been billowing for over a year.

Carmelo Garcia has flouted HUD procurement policy, repeatedly showed a total disregard for the will of the HHA Board of Commissioners and exhibited a complete inability to work with others pushing a ridiculous massive redevelopment called Vision 20/20 with no public documentation or required Master Plan other than a non-binding glossy brochure.

The ugliest racist allegations were flouted in last week's City Council meeting where the Old Guard council members attempted to apply one more rear guard action on behalf of an exposed Old Guard ally. Not merely an instinctive defense for one of their own, they knew the stakes for Garcia and their Vision Money Money dreams would go up in smoke with a Reform oriented HHA board firmly in place.

Unlike the financial and criminal improprieties uncovered at the BoE and City Hall, the reform efforts uncovering malfeasance in the HHA has been revealed at the speed of light - two meetings - led by the new HHA Chairwoman Dana Wefer.

Which leads us to the one upcoming question at hand among others. Are we looking at possible bribery or extortion charges?

Based on the timing, the latter is more likely as the monies given to Carmelo Garcia's political committee, Garcia for Assembly mirror a quid pro quo to the hilt with the quid (vendor billings) coming before the quo (payments to Garcia), separated by mere months.

What becomes clearer is Garcia's defense of the billings to the vendors in question is glaringly deficient and terminally so with the money he's taken from both. This is the very definition of pay to play, Hoboken Soprano style.

Don't expect much in the way of honor from Carmelo Garcia. His actions on a whole host of fronts steers far from that concept. From illicitly recording a former Hoboken Senate Majority Leader in the person of the esteemed Bernard Kenny to ruling out of hand the series of criminal actions against HHA residents especially Jessica Coco - the list of people victimized by his single minded megalomania is lengthy. The cynical civil lawsuits filed by both he and attorney Louis Zayas brought national disrepute on Hoboken.

Justice doesn't arrive in Hoboken often. This may be one instance where it does.

Let's hope it arrives sooner than later.

HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia has disgraced the public office he holds and the community
he is pledged to serve. Hoboken has seen enough with obvious pay to play abuses and is overdue
for a modicum of justice. Carmelo Garcia must relinquish his role as HHA Executive Director.


Talking Ed Note: This Horse Sense editorial is dedicated to my brother Dino.

Monday, May 12, 2014

BLOCKBUSTER: CARMELO GARCIA POCKETED MONEY FROM AT LEAST TWO FIRMS DOING BUSINESS IN THE HOBOKEN HOUSING AUTHORITY

MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE INVESTIGATIVE REPORT

 
 
 
 
 
CARMELO GARCIA'S POLITICAL COMMITTEE SHOWS $4,600 POCKETED FROM ENTITIES CURRENTLY DOING BUSINESS WITH THE AGENCY HE HEADS

 

Indisputable evidence points to Carmelo Garcia pocketing at least $4,600 earlier this year from two companies currently billing hundred thousand dollar fees to the Hoboken Housing Authority.

The undeniable evidence comes in Carmelo Garcia's own political committee report: Garcia for Assembly filed earlier this spring.

In the ELEC report, Garcia for Assembly lists receipts of contributions from Hauser Brothers, Inc. of Orangeburg, NY, ($2,600), Haddad Electric, $1,000 and a possible connection to that firm in Nader Haddad, $1,000.

The $4,600 total is reported on the ELEC report as being contributed last March 11th.

The two entities, Hauser Bros. and Haddad Electric are the focus of controversy for questionable billings to the HHA over the past year. Both have presented the agency with over six figures in billings under questionable procurement standards in questions initiated by Chairwoman Dana Wefer and joined by fellow commissioner Dave Mello.

At the Thursday meeting, Executive Director Carmelo Garcia offered vague reasons for not following federal procurement policy on Hauser Bros. before completely shutting down any further discussion and refusing to say when questions would be answered saying, "I need to speak to my personal attorney."

Money paid to Carmelo Garcia in March of this year by the firm Hauser Bros, Inc.
The firm has a pile of six figure bills sitting in the Hoboken Housing Authority submitted by Garcia to the HHA board.
Garcia refused to speak about details of the billing saying he needed to speak to his lawyer.

Garcia has filed two civil lawsuits in recent months going back to late summer last year against Mayor Dawn Zimmer, the HHA and its former Chairman among others. The first lawsuit was thrown out of court and made national headlines for an outrageous claim of "ethnic cleansing" in Hoboken.

The second lawsuit refiled earlier this year was mostly thrown out on the first pass in Hudson County Superior Court with only a single, vague allegation of political affiliation left standing but faces another challenge to be tossed with a current motion already filed.

Both civil lawsuits were filed by Garcia's controversial attorney, Louis Zayas. Of note, Zayas himself reportedly made a $500 contribution to Garcia's political committee on March 11th as well.

Haddad Electrical also gave money to Carmelo Garcia's political committee last March.
They too are in the center of a billing controversy highlighted Thursday night at the HHA meeting.
What else are we not seeing Mr. Carmelo?

A federal attorney contacted on the hypotheticals of the actions by Garcia responded to an inquiry on what federal and state laws which may have been violated responded with a single word: "numerous."

The HHA itself passed a pay to play ordinance just over two years ago back in 2012 but the language speaks to conflicts with municipal elections. Garcia currently occupies an Assembly position under the tutelage of State Senator Brian Stack.

It's unclear at press time whether the two firms have filed required Business Entity Annual Statement electronically with NJ ELEC. The State pay-to-play disclosure law requires that prior to entering a contract with a government entity of more than $17,500 that is not publicly advertised, the respective business must disclose certain contributions made during the past year.

Both firms involved may have circumvented those requirements as Garcia has claimed numerous "emergencies" due to Hurricane Sandy in late 2012 as an excuse for not going out to bid and/or contracting properly to the HHA Board of Commissioners. He offered limited and confusing answers but all but admitted neither Hauser Bros. nor Haddad Electrical hold valid contracts with the HHA.

The due date for the Business Entity Annual Statement is March 30th which falls just after the March 11th contributions to the Carmelo Garcia political committee, Garcia for Assembly.

Garcia for Assembly

What pressure(s) or temptations may have induced Carmelo Garcia to take traceable monies from HHA vendors is uncertain. According to his April 2014 ELEC filing, he owes legal powerhouse election law firm Genova Burns $44,000.

The legal bills were incurred in early 2013 when Garcia was challenged by reform minded Hoboken residents on his running for Assembly while being paid with federal funds as a contractor to the HHA, a federal agency.

Initially, Garica was forced off the ballot for Assembly last spring when the case was decided in Hudson County Superior Court by Assignment Judge Peter Bariso who cited a Hatch Act violation. Later, an Appellate Court would reverse the ruling based on recent changes to the law allowing Garcia back on the ballot where he easily won on the Hudson County Democratic Organization line under State Senator Brian Stack.

Ironically, after the Carmelo rat tapes were exposed revealing Garcia taping both the mayor’s husband and former Senate Majority Leader Bernard Kenny at a lunch, his political future appeared all but over with reports he received a less than warm welcome from his colleagues in Trenton. State Senator Stack reportedly has told Hoboken voters his elevation of Garcia to his ticket and the Assembly seat was “a mistake.”

Carmelo Garcia could not be reached for comment. Further inquires are being made.

 

Is that Carmelo Garcia behind all that loot?
Two firms doling out the Benjamins to Garcia's political committee
are also at the center of current controversial billings at the HHA
to the tune of over $400,000.


Pay to play? The gun is still smoking based on the evidence
.
Is this any clearer to you in Vision 20/20?
(See MSV's earlier breaking story for full details.)




Talking Ed Note: Carmelo Garcia was clearly serious Thursday night when he declined to provide any answers surrounding Hauser Bros saying he needed to speak to her personal lawyer.

Now we know why.

Does anyone know if Louis Zayas is experienced in criminal law?