Monday, March 5, 2018

Ravi Bhalla's new law firm employment contract is the "Talk on the Hudson"

Mayor Ravi Bhalla is seeing more questions on his new employment contract. Even though he'd rather talk about a pothole with the photo op cameras and video recorder going, he's the "Talk on the Hudson."

The "talk" is a radio show hosted by Fernando Uribe who wandered into the issue. He had some difficulty raising the question but finally, some discussion about the secret law firm employment contract spilled out.

The deal began a month after Ravi Bhalla took office as Hoboken mayor and broke a promise to end his legal work at Florio Perrucci and focus on Hoboken full time. Since the details came out about a week ago, more questions and attention are being raised by Hoboken residents, the City Council and wary legal beagles who see an inherent problem with Bhalla returning to a legal sales role while inhabiting the upstairs at Hoboken City Hall.

Here's a key segment transcribed beginning at the 53-minute mark.
Host Fernando Uribe: 

Just a couple of more minutes of your time I appreciate it. Since I have you on today I'm sure it's a question you've been inundated with and I wanted to ask you about it because it's sort of ... I don't want to call it the elephant in the room but speaking of the city council I know recently you've come under some criticism from members of the city council about employment that you've seeked out. I don't know if you're legally able to sort of discuss it on the air tonight or what you have agreed to elaborate on but again some city council members have gone on record let me rephrase that ... council members have gone on record about expressing concerns there's been a lot of chatter online about a recent report in the Jersey journal that mentioned your name around the 20th I believe a few days ago. Anything you want to share with us tonight for our listeners about what's accurate about the attacks what's not accurate, do you feel you're being unfairly scrutinized whether it's by residents or members of the city council about any potential outside employment you're seeking Sir?

Mayor Bhalla:

Yeah... It's par for the course. You know a lot of it is politics. A lot of it is misunderstanding and miscommunication. I just want it to be clear I am a full-time mayor. I sleep, eat and breath Hoboken 24/7. I was at a fire at the 500 block Observer Highway until two o'clock in the morning last night and the things we've achieved in just six or seven weeks as mayor you couldn't do that if you didn't have a full-time mayor. Again the AA+ bond rating, fighting back NJ Transit you know the accomplishments we've done in just such a short time are reflective of my commitment to Hoboken as being a full time mayor. So you know people can say what they want and that's fine it doesn't bother me that's just the nature of beast. But I do want to make clear that my sole priority is the City of Hoboken that's why I ran it's my only, only job to be the Mayor of City of Hoboken.

Host Fernando Uribe: 
Just to be clear again because I'm not an attorney and certainly I don't know the legal language but is there any conflict of interest whatsoever that can arise from this because there has been that accusation and for our listeners tonight a lot of them are Hoboken residents just to be clear is there any conflict of interest whatsoever that's entailed with this?

Mayor Bhalla:

No. I mean anything is possible. If I were a dentist you know there could be a conflict of interest that could arise with respect to my dental practice and if that were to happen that would be addressed the same applies for you know any law firm that I have an affiliation with if there were a conflict you know that would be addressed promptly but my focus 1000 percent is on the City of Hoboken and being the best mayor I can be. Being a full-time mayor is the primary focus of myself and I think the last seven to eight weeks have reflected that commitment. 

The questions keep coming and the contradictions keep repeating with Mayor Ravi Bhalla's new law firm employment contract. Exactly what is a NJ land-use zoning law firm paying Ravi Bhalla for as he is offered a very
generous sales commission to act Of Counsel and bring in clients? That's a lawyer position, no matter the denials.

Hoboken's new mayor says his only job is Hoboken even as he stands to make far more working as a rainmaking lawyer than Hoboken mayor? So what gives, other than the less than truthful answers from Ravi Bhalla? Is the City for sale?

Talking Ed Note: The Lepers of Leprecon washed out with the promotion undercut by the closure of participating bars downtown. No promotion; no mayhem as the bars that did a promotion used the theme Hoboken St. Patrick's Day, an imaginary holiday where revelers pour in and act out their version of mardi gras.

Arrests dropped to four versus 11 the prior year. Service calls dropped at the Hoboken Police Department from 488 last year to 386.

The Leprecon event has been in decline year-to-year since 2012.