Carmelo Garcia claim: had to secretly tape lunch requested with mayor's husband and former State Senator Bernard Kenny to offset 'conspiracy of collusion' of others months later.
At the Hudson Reporter council debate, outgoing lame duck Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia defended his secret taping of Hoboken's former NJ Senate President Bernie Kenny claiming he did it due to collusion by the Hoboken Housing Authority Chair Dana Wefer and pointing to Councilwoman Jen Giattino as a "culprit" in a conspiracy against him.
The secret Garcia taping however came many months before any action by the Hoboken Housing Authority commissioners looking into his questionable practices as HHA Executive Director of whom Dana Wefer would become chair.
In 2013, Mayor Dawn Zimmer responded to Garcia's first civil "ethnic cleansing" lawsuit thrown out of Hudson Superior Court calling its secret taping of former Senator Kenny and her husband an attempt "to try and extort me in my capacity as mayor."
Garcia made his secret audiotape months before he was eventually discovered pocketing thousands of dollars from unauthorized vendors issued in illicit contracts with the HHA in the millions of dollars.
Those revelations among numerous other problems revealed in an independent audit exclusively reported on MSV eventually led to the HHA board voting to terminate the remainder of his contract in a tumultuous HHA meeting held in City Hall back in August last year.
To a question asking to state the best and worst thing about your opponent, Carmelo Garcia aka "The Wire" defended his unauthorized taping of former NJ State Majority Leader Bernie Kenny by saying it was required with the "collusion" of others including Councilwoman Jen Giattino.
His response came after Councilwoman Giattino called him a good soccer coach but "untrustworthy" for secretly taping the former NJ State Senator.
Garcia is currently suing both the Hoboken Housing Authority and the City of Hoboken including current chair and fourth ward council candidate Dana Wefer, commissioner and at-large councilman Dave Mello, Mayor Dawn Zimmer and her husband among others for his contract being terminated by the Hoboken Housing Authority board last year. His "ethnic cleansing" lawsuit was thrown out of court in its entirety, amended, mostly thrown out again with a remnant surviving in its current iteration.
The HHA board operates under federal authority and does not report to the city although most of its nine commissioners are appointed by the city council.
Here's an unedited clip of the exchange from the debate:
Garcia secretly audio taped Bernard Kenny, the former State Senator Majority Leader of New Jersey for four hours before, during and after a lunch he had requested with the mayor's husband in midtown Manhattan. The tapes eventually found their way to NJ.com after being discovered and then legally obtained in another unrelated case by the City of Hoboken.
In the audiotapes, Garcia appears to lay several entrapment ploys at the lunch he asked for with Kenny and the mayor's husband Stan Grossbard. Garcia is heard on the tape repeatedly proposing a deal where he would be given latitude to do as he wished in the Hoboken Housing Authority in exchange for support of Mayor Zimmer's 2013 re-election bid.
Although Garcia claimed the tapes showed nefarious activities of others, the tape actually showed the only illegality suggested was by him as he's repeatedly shot down and told he should earn the trust of the Hoboken Housing Authority commissioners.
One issue heard concerned the appointment of a HHA legal counsel. Garica would attempt to foist another contract for the former but then current attorney Charles Daglian. His efforts failed in seven tone-deaf resolutions he submitted. One, an illicit vote of approval was rejected in an intervention by HUD which called Garcia's effort in that vote "legally flawed."
Garcia filed his first of a series of "ethnic cleansing" civil lawsuits which has cost the City of Hoboken $150,000 to date almost a year before he was even terminated as HHA Executive Director. It's unknown what the legal costs are to the Hoboken Housing Authority which was discovered to be in a woeful financial state after Garcia was terminated as Executive Director.
Pointing the finger at his opponent Councilwoman Giattino, Garica attempted to defend his actions saying into the camera, "You can't support nefarious acitivty."
Garcia piled on his attack tying the HHA chair Dana Wefer and the HHA board's contract termination with Councilwoman Giattino saying "so the worst thing and acting as if you're not part of that collusion..." He called his secret recordings "a right" in "any nefarious conversation that would lead them to be set up and entrapped and I think that's important."
Garcia described the best of Councilwoman Giattino with her being "able to move out of the (sixth) ward for a year" after Hurricane Sandy. Councilwoman Giattino's home had been severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 with her husband and three young children all forced out for needed repairs.
Related: Carmelo Garcia stars in the mob scene in council chambers during the halted proceedings of the special meeting of the HHA at City Hall.
MSV which was robbed of equipment at the meeting and discovered while filming a creeping Carmelo Garcia from behind in this unedited video called "The Fracas" as his Old Guard political allies Theresa Castellano, Beth Mason and Michael Russo stood by (silently in approval):