As reported just earlier late Thursday afternoon on NJ.com:
An administrative law judge has tossed an ethics complaint against a Hoboken councilman, finding that the allegations of a conflict of interest were "wildly speculative" and made by a "local gadfly" known for launching bigoted attacks.
The "local gadfly" in the article is Hoboken Old Guard politico Perry Belfiore.
Judge James Geraghty tossed the ethics complaint stating Councilman Bhalla had no personal or financial relationship with the attorney in the complaint authored by Belfiore and the charges were "frivolous and unwarranted."
|Hoboken politico Perry Belfiore as seen in a 2010 City Council meeting holding court|
at the mic. A judge threw out his ethics complaint against Councilman Ravi Bhalla
deeming it unwarranted and the actions taken "bigoted."
The article goes on to say the judge described Belfiore as a "relentless political antagonist."
Councilman Bhalla is reportedly pleased with the ruling and said the decision aptly ends a five year smear campaign against him saying, "I'm happy the judge cleared my name."
Last November, Bhalla was the target of a relentless well financed campaign against him when he ran for re-election. Much of the vitriol came from online political operations believed by many to be underwritten by Councilwoman Beth Mason. A suspected political operative of hers was thought to have written some questionable and what was considered by many racist remarks under the screen name Ravi Ravioli on Hoboken Patch.
Late in the municipal race, Councilman Bhalla said he was considering filing civil charges against Beth Mason for defamation. After his election victory, he did not do so.
The NJ.com story says Beth Mason was not available after two days of attempts to reach her for comment on the story. She was in attendance at the special City Council meeting last night.
The complete story:
Currently, Perry Belfiore is backing a BoE ticket, Parents for Children with slate candidates: Patricia Waiters, Brian Murray and Lynn Danzker.
In an exclusive on the record interview earlier today with MSV, Belfiore said of Murray and Danzker, "they are very good people... very good people."
Related: Beth Mason's relentless attacks on Ravi Bhalla were covered on MSV during last year's municipal race.