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: