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BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in light of Councilman Russo's actions taken as a
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Bhalla Story Supporting documentation

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Transcript of "Bhalla Story Supporting documentation"

  1. 1. ..." ~tate of jiew JJ'ersep. DEPAR1rMf.NT 0.II COMMUNrrV AFFAIRS lOt SOl'm BROAI) STRHf CHRIS O-fR1STIE (~(Wl!"" 0 r J'O Box 80j NJ 08625-0803 TRI'NHlN. KIM GJAnAGNO l.l. (;OI'l'rllOr RICHARD E. CONS1.... IJLE, C01nmi"ifmt.>r August 27, 20 13 Ravinda S. Bhalla. Councilman City of Hoboken 837 Garden Street Hoboken,NJ 07030 Re: Local Government Ethics Law Complaint #LFB·lQ·OI] NOTICE OF VIOLATION Dear Councilman Bhalla: The Local Finance Board (Board) issued a NOTICE OF VIOLATION regarding its findings in the matter of Complaint #LFB-l 0-0 11 against you. Enclosed is the NOTICE issued by the Board. Please be advised that the NOTICE is not a final determination if you desire to avail yourself of the right to request an administrative hearing. If a hearing is requested in accordance with the enclosed NOTICE, the Board will not issue a final decision until the completion of the administrative hearing process. Please also be advised that the Board considered, for the first time, the issue of shared office space with a professional appointed by City Council and its relationship to potential violations of the Local Government Ethics Law. The Board discussed, at length, that while sharing office space with a professional appointed by City Council is not in and of itself a "substantial conflict with the proper discharge of duties in the public interest," co·signing a lease agreement is considered a shared business relationship and would appear to constitute a direct/indirect financial involvement that might reasonably be expected to impair ones objectivity or independence of judgment. Please be further advised that the Board's intent is not to set a precedent that office space cannot be shared bet'veen two professionals. but rather to distinguish between sharing office space and being jointly and severally bound in a lease agreement which constitutes a financial involvement. Therefore, the Board determined that you should have abstained from Council involvement/action in the appointment of Mr. Condon. Sell· }n:w!y is (III Eq/lal 0p!"JI'lwlicl' Emplo.wr • P6nled VII Rc:cyclcd paper 1m" Recydabll; III
  2. 2. .... Should you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact Eileen Brennen at (609) 292-0479. :~Jf Local Finance Board Enclosure Complainant THN:cb ClO.QII.NOV
  3. 3. ~tnte of .flew 31erseJ? Df.PARTMI:NT OF COMMLrNIH' AFFAIRS lOt Soum CURlS CIIRI~TIF. BROAD S'IRnn 1"0 8ux 803 TItf.NTON, NJ 0862S-0803 (;01't'I'1JOr RICHARD E. CONSTABLE, Co 111m issio"e r KIM GllAllAGNO l.t. (;/,.,,(>,-"or STATE OF NEW JERSEY LOCALFmA~CEBOARD NOTICE OF VIOLATION In Re: [Ravinda S. Bhalla, Councilman, City of Hoboken, Complaint #10-011.] This matter having come before the Local Finance Board (Board) pursuant to the Local Government Ethics Law, NJ.S.A. 40A:9-22.1 et seq., upon complaint that Councilman Ravinda S. Bhalla voted yes on a resolution appointing special legal counsel for the City and authorizing a contract to Paul Condon, Esq. for legal services to the City, while Councilman Bhalla had a close business relationship with Mr. Condon, in violation ofNJ.S.A 40A:9-22.5.d; and, WHEREAS, it was detennined that the allegations were within the Board's jurisdiction, were not frivolous and were based upon a reasonable factual basis, the Board authorized an investigation ofthis complaint; and WHEREAS, the Local Government Ethics Law states: N.J.S.A. 40A: 9-22.S.d. No local goverDment officer or employee shall act in his official capacity in any matter where he, a member of his immediate family, or a business organization in which he has an interest, has a direct or indirect financial or personal involvcmcnt that might reasonably be expected to impair his objectivity or independence of judgment; WHEREAS, the Board, having considered the matter and the relevant statements and information presented in the written response to the allegations submitted by Councilman Bhalla, concluded that voting in favor of a resolution providing for the continued legal services of Paul Condon, Esq. while he had a shared lease agreement with Mr. Condon constitutes a direct or indirect tinancial or personal involvement that might reasonably be expected to impair his objectivity or independence ofjudgment. in violation ofN.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.5.a. It is therefore, I>ETERMINED that Hoboken City Councilman Ravinda S. Bhalla shall be assessed a fine in the amount of $100.00 tor the violation as related to his engaging in activities prohibited by statute. Payment of said fine shall be waived as no precedent has previously been issued by the Board in regard to the sharing of office space with a professional appointed by a governing body. n 1'(* ~. NOTICE that Councilman Bhalla is entitled to an administrative hearing in acwrdancc with N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.12 to contest this NOTICE. Any request for an administrative hearing shall bde ~l~d w.ith hlhe . Lo~al Financdc Board w it~ilnl 30. days recclipt of this NIOhTICE. Ilf an a· mtfilstratlve eanng IS rcqucste ,the Board WI not Issue a tina decision unti t e comp ehon III
  4. 4. of the administrative hearing process. Said hearing request shall be filed with Patricia Parkin McNamara, Executive Secretary, Local Finance Board, Department of Community Affairs, P.O. Box 803, Trenton, New Jersey 08625. THO~JLR' LOCAL FmANCE BOARD
  5. 5. ...i Page 4 of? Ravinder Bhal1a (RaviBhal1a) on Twitter Unwarranted #NYPDspying impacts Muslim religigus life & .? • In constitutional ri~~£~'SpYing suppresses ability to 'pFaM8ea~w. Ifl'I v #changetheNYPD Retweeted by Ravinder 6halia E><pand • • • • • Ravinder Shalla @RaviBhalia 21 Aug Learn more about @omadahealth providing cutting edge diabetes prevention solutions to millions of Americans #omadahealth Expand Ravinder Shalla @RaviBhalia If I Bribe City Hall, Can I Reduce My Mortgage? - Bloomberg via @BloombergView bloom.bg/15A9rZq 18 Aug View summary Ravinder Shalla @Ravi6halia 13 Aug Today is Election Day! Special Primary for US Senate. Please cast your vote for @CoryBooker for Senate on your way to work this· morning. Expand Ravinder Shalla @RaviBhalia Congrats brother! Keep it going, we're with you in New Jersey "@keithellison: Turning 50 y'all. pic.twitter.com/yloAiyjorX· View photo Ravinder Shalla @RaviBhalia 3 Aug Joined Florio, Perrucci, Steinhardt & Fader as a Partner of the Firm. Honored & humbled by the opportunity to work w/such great attorneys. Collapse 2 RET¥vEEfS Reply Retweet Favorite More •• El'19 PM ·3 Aug 13 . Details _ lf~ Steve Lenox @lenoxCol1suitil1g Congrats @RaviBhalla ­ 3 Aug Expand IJ • • ':41 Carl O'Srien @OSnen_Carl @RaviBhalla - Congrats and all the best. 3Aug Expand Ray Smith @TheRealRaySmiU1 If Columbus had docked in Newport, JC instead of Plymouth Rock, no one would blame him for thinking he found India. 3 Aug Retweeted by Ravinder Bhalia Expand Ravinder Shalla @RaviBhaHa @TheRealRaySmith So true! 3 Aug View conversation Jon Passantino @passantino 3 Aug RT @SportsCenter: BREAKING: Alex Rodriguez will be suspended Monday, likely through end of '14 season, sources have told Outside the Lines. Ret1Jeeted by Ravinder BhaHa https:lltwitter.comIRaviBhalla 10/10/2013
  6. 6. THE COUNCIL OF THE ClTYOF HOBOKEN MINUTES FOR MEETING OF MAY 2,2012 EXECUTIVE SESSION (stardng at 6:00 PM) RESOLVTIONS RESOL'L'TION A'L'THORIZING CLOSED SESSION, PURSUAt,"T TO N..J.S.A.I0:4-12(8) TO DISCUSS MATIERS RELATING TO SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATIONS WITH A FOR.IIER EMPLOYEE (EMPLOYEE #101230) AND TO DISCUSS MATTERS OF ATIORNEY CLIENT PRIVILEGE RELATING TO OPEN SPACE ACQUISITION AND REDEVELOPMENT President Bhalla re-opened the meeting at 7:42 P.M. Roll call for Executive Session: Council persons Castellano, Cunningham, Giattino, Marsh, Mason, Mello, Occhipinti, and President Bhalla ABSENT: Russo Second ReadinglPublic Hearing and Final Vote AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND AND SUPPLEMENT CHAPTER 192 OF THE CODE OF THE CITY OF HOBOKEN EN"TIlLED (pARKING FOR HANDICAPPED) APPROVAL; (1312 BLOOMFIELD STREET) (sponsored by CoucHman Mello and Councilman Cunningham) (Z-176) The speaker who spoke: Patricia Waiters. No other person present desiring to be heard and no written protests or objections received, President Bhalla asked for a motion to close the hearing. President Bhalla moved that the hearing be closed. --Motion duly seconded by Councilman Cunningham --Adopted by the follo~ing vote: YEAS: 8 - NAYS: 0 - ABSENT· 1 --Yeas: Councilpersons Castellano, Cunningham, Giattino, Marsh, Mason, Mello, Occhipinti and President Bhalla. --Nays: None. --Absent: Russo President Bhalla then instructed the City Clerk to call the Final Vote for the above Ordinance. --Adopted by the follomng vote: YEAS: 8 - NAYS: 0 -ABSENT: 1 --Yeas: Council persons Castellano, Cunningham, Giattino, Marsh, Mason, Mello, Occhipinti and President Bhalla --Nays: None. --Absent: Russo Meeting of May 2, 2012
  7. 7. --Adopted by the following vote: YEAS: 7 - NAYS: 1 - ABSENT: 1 --Yeas: Council persons Castellano, Cunningham, Giattino, Marsh, Mason, Mello and President Bhalla --Nays: Occhipinti --Absent: Russo Councilman Occhipinti has left the table at 10:31 PM Councilman Occhipinti has returned to the table at 10 :35 PM ~ --By Councilman Cunningham RESOLlITlON TO AUTHORIZE A PROFESSIONAL SERVICE CONTRACT WITH FLORIO PERUCCI STEINHARDT & FADER, LLC AS SPECIAL LEGAL COUNSEL-GENERAL LITIGATION TO THE CITY OF HOBOKEN TO COMMENCE JANUARY 1, 2012 AND EXPIRE DECEMBER 31, 2012 FOR A TOTAL NOT TO EXCEED AMOUNT OF $20,000.00 WHEREAS, service to the City as Special Counsel - General Litigation is a professional service as dermed by M.J,.S,A. 40A:11-1 .et ~. and as such, is exempt from public bidding requirements pursuant to t:L1S.A. 40A: 11-5; and, WHEREAS, the City of Hoboken published its annual Request for Proposals for the Professional Services of Special Legal Counsel-General Litigation in accordance with the Fair and Open Process and Hoboken Ordinance #DR-154, which Florio Perucci Steinhardt & Fader LLC responded to; and, WHEREAS, the evaluation committee scored Florio Perucci Steinhardt & Fader LLC's proposal among the highest for said services, the Administration has presented Aorio Perucci Steinhardt & Fader LLC as the City's Special Legal Counsel-General Litigation for CY 2012, and, as a result, the City Council heretofore seeks to authorize the award of a professional service contract; and, WHEREAS, Florio Perucci Steinhardt & Fader LLC is hereby required to continue to abide by the "pay-to-play" requirements ofthe Hoboken Public ContractiTllJ Reform Ordinance, codified as §20A­ 11 ~ o2!../l. ofthe Administrative Code of the City of Hoboken as well as the Affirmative Action laws and policies under which the City operates; and, WHEREAS, certification of funds is available as follows: I, George Destefano, Chief Financial Officer of the City of Hoboken, hereby certify that $20,000.00 is available in the following appropriations 02-01-20-156-020 in the CY2012 budget; and I further certifY that this commitment together with aU previously made commitments does not exceed the appropriation balance available for this purpose for the CY2012 budget. Signed: ..I George DeStefano, CFO NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that a contract with Florio Perucci Steinhardt & Fader LLC to represent the City as Special Legal Counsel-General Litigation be awarded, for a term to commence January 1, 2012 and expire December 31, 2012, for a total not to exceed amount of Twenty Thousand ($20,000.00) Dollars; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the contract shall include the following term: Aorio Perucci Steinhardt & Fader LLC shall be paid maximum hourly rates of $150.00jhour for attorneys, $50.00jhour for paralegals, and $20jhour for support staff for services rendered, these are the only Meeting of May 2, 2012
  8. 8. charges for services allowable under this agreement, and charges for filing fees and costs shall be allowable, but must be clearly identified and described in full in the appropriate monthly invoice; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Florio Perucci Steinhardt & Fader LLC was appointed earlier in 2012 to provide investigative services to the City with regards to an Affirmative Action issue, and the herein contract and not to exceed amount shall include the within described investigative services; and, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, litigation and legal matters will be assigned to the firm as they become available and the City Administration determines the firm's services are appropriate for any particular matter; this contract shall not be for a sum certain but rather, a retainer, the matters on which to be retained shall be determined as the need arises at the sole discretion of the City; and, this contract is not a guarantee of availability of services or assignment; and, BE IT FURTIlER RESOLVED, the contract shall expressly state that said firm shall be obligated to provide prompt notice to the City when its invoicing reaches 80% of the not to exceed amount if the firm believes additional funds will be necessary, and the City shall have no liability for payment of funds in excess of the not to exceed amount; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Hoboken specifically finds that compliance with Hoboken Ordinance #DR-154 (codified as §20A-4 of the Code of the City of Hoboken), and any and all state Pay to Play laws, is a continuing obligation of Rorio Perucci Steinhardt & Fader LLC; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the City Clerk shall publish this resolution as required by law and keep a copy of the resulting contract on file in accordance with.MJ..S.A. 40A:ll-1 ~~.; and, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a certified copy of this resolution shall be provided to Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Corporation Counsel for action in accordance therewith and to take any other actions necessary to complete and realize the intent and purpose of this resolution; and, BE IT FURTIlER RESOLVED that this resol ution shall take effect immediately. ---Motion duly seconded by Councilman Mello ---Adopted by the following vote: YEAS: 5 - NAYS: 3 - ABSEl"T: 1 --Yeas: Council persons Cunningham, Giattino, Marsh, Mello and President Bhalla ---Nays: Castellano, Mason and Ucchipmb ---Absent: Russo 12-493 --By Councilwoman Giattino RESOLUfION TO AUfHORIZE AN AMENDED PROFESSIONAL SERVICE CONTRACT WITII FLORIO & KENNY FOR TIlE SERVICES OF EDWARD FLORIO, ESQ. AS SPECIAL LEGAL COUNSEL-RENT CONTROL BOARD ATTORNEY TO THE CITY OF HOBOKEN TO COMMENCE JANUARY, 2012 AND EXPIRE DECEMBER 31, 2012 WITH AN INCREASE IN THE NOT TO EXCEED AMOUNT BY $10,000.00 FOR A TOTAL NOT TO EXCEED AMOUNT OF $15,000.00 WHEREAS, service to the City as Special Counsel - Rent Control Board Attorney is a professional service as defined by MJ..S,A. 40A:ll·1.et~. and as such, is exempt from public bidding requirements pursuant to .MJ.S.,A. 40A: 11-5; and, Meeting of May 2, 2012
  9. 9. As of 1/19/13 * AJ of21201/3 ** REGULAR MEETING OF FEBRUARV 20, 2013 STARTING AT 7:00PM Please note: The Hoboken City Council may consider additional Resolutions, Ordinances or any other matter brought before the Hoboken City Council until February 20,2013 and throughout the meeting SECOND READING/PUBLIC HEARING AND FINAL VOTE I. AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 179A ENTITLED "TAXICABS" TO FURTHER CLARIFY THE ... ~j MUNICIPALITY'S INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR TAXICAB LICENSES (sponsored by Councilman Mello and Councilman BhaJla) (Z-227) 2. AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER § 196 Z<)NING BY DELETING THE CURRENT ARTICLE 11 IN ITS ENTIRETY AND REPLACING IT WITH A NEW ARTICLE II "DEFINITIONS" (sp()ns~*bf-Coun~il;~an"M"erroimt€ltunc.iIman.Bh~!I~) (Z-228) /. ",/' -~/ " . , "-¥,-" " ' . " " " " { , /(Carried to March city council meeting pending planning board ~ review) -----3. AN 0 ~"'j NAA1'J.rnm'-TffE-{:;Ql,~:;.t.6-e&~.£-f4':Pr"1jf HOBOKEN G . 'ING A NON~EX IVE TEMPORARY FOR". AIN ENCROACHMEN'rs REVOCABLE EASEM WITHIN THE PUBLIC RI -OF-WAYALONO OBSERVER HIGHWAY, BETWEE TERS 1 AVENUE AND JACKSON AS BLOCK 14, LOT 1 STREET, MORE P 'CULARLY KN ON THE T MAPS OF THE CITY 0 HOBOKEN. AND COMMONLY REFERED TO AS 61 JACKSON STREET (sponsored by Councilman Mello and Councilman BhalJa) (Z-229) (PULLED "'ROM SECOND READING DUE TO SUBSTANTIVE AMENDMENTS, SEI<: 1ST READING ORDINANCE #1) * * PlJBI.IC COMMENTS PETITIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS Miscellaneous Licenses Annual Debt & Financial Statement submitted by the CFO for CY 2012
  10. 10. A4.* Resolution authorizing the closure of a bank account at the recommendation of the Department of Revenue and Finance (submitted by the Finance Department) J~esolution to approve a "License Agreement" between the City of llobokcn and the owner of Block 169 Lot 38 (a/kJa for a license agreement for 704 Park Ave. (submitted by Community Dc/clopmcnt) 6.* Resolution to authorize a professional service contract with Chasen Leyner & Lamparello PC as Special Legal Coun501- General and Outstanding litigation to the City of Hoboken to commence January 1, 2013 and expire December 31, 2013 for a not to exceed amount of$4,500.00 (submitted by the Administration) 7.* Resolution to authorize an amendment to the professional service contract with Florio Perucci Steinhart & Fader as Special Legal Counsel··- Labor and Employment to the City of Hoboken to commence January 1, 2013 and expire December 31,2013 for an increase in the not to exceed amount by $25,OOO.O() total not to exceed amount of $50,250.00 Ad "r' . (submitted by the Administration) 8.* Resolution to authorize a correction to the professional service contract with Maraziti Falcon Healey as Special Legal Counsel····· outstanding litigation to the City of Hoboken to commence January 1,2013 and expire December 3 L 2013 to change the hourly rate to $190.00/hour (submittcd by the Administration) Resolution to award a contract to secure watch 24 for the purchase of two (2) automated license plate recognition systems with automatic chalking in accordance with the City's Bid No. -13-01 in the total amount of $184,077.00 (submitted by the Administration) ( ,k 1O.*t.. ..a~esolution ." to authorize a contract to T & M Associates for services as the City's J, ,.,,11fofessional consultant with regards to the electrical repair work on the Midtown Garage flo commence January 21, 2013 and expir~ upon complet~?n, but not later than J~muary t' . 20,2014 for a not to exceed amount ofNme Thousand Nine Hundred Dollars ($9,900.00) to "" ; f, (submitted by the Administration) Resolution to award a contract for Harley Davidson Buell of Long Branch for Four (4) Harley Davidson Motorcycles in accordance with the City's Bid No. 13-0) in the Lotal amount of $78,630.00 (submitted by the Administration) ( '­ 12.* Resolution to authorize a contract with DeMaio Electrical work services with regards to the electrical repair work the Midtown Garage to commence February 20, 2013 and expire upon completion, but not later than February 19. 2014, for a not to exceed amount of Seventy Five Thousand Six Hundred Dollars ($75,600.00) (submitted by the Administration)
  11. 11. Deadlocked City Council Unable to Approve Legal Bill - Government - Hoboken, NJ Patch Page 1 of 6 Hoboken News I Government Deadlocked City Council Unable to Approve Legal Bill A resolution to pay $25,000 in legal bills failed on Wednesday night. Posted by Claire Moses (Editor) , February 21, 2013 at 04:46 AM Like 0 Tweet 0 o o 2 An amendment to a legal bill with the firm Florio, Perucci, Steinhart & Fader of $25,000 - for a total amount not to exceed $50,250 - failed in a 4-4 vote. Only eight members are currently serving on the city council, often resulting in a deadlock. The matter pertains to an appeal by a former employee of the city, said city lawyer Melissa Longo. Longo said the money was added to the bill because she recently assigned the firm with a new case. Florio, Perucci deals with labor matters, Longo said, as well as negotiations with the city's municipal employees union. The firm of Florio, Perucci also recently responded to a request for qualifications to become the general counsel of the Hoboken Housing Authority. From the Web http://hoboken.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/deadlocked-city-council-unable... by Taboola 10/10/2013
  12. 12. Hoboken Housing Authority Reappoints Attorney During Heated Meeting - Government ... Page 1 of 12 Hoboken News I Government Hoboken Housing Authority Reappoints Attorney During Heated Meeting After a bitter clash between the HHA Chairman and the HHA Director, Charlie Daglian was re-appointed as the housing authority's counsel. Posted by Claire Moses (Editor) , February 08, 2013 at 06:02 AM Like 0 Tweet 0 mmissioners ~~v, ' ..... , "'., .... , ~;,an in a 4-3 vote during a heated special meeting Thursday night. I I .... ...., .... The tumultuous meeting, which lasted more than three hours, included a series of hostile exchanges between Housing Authority Chairman Jake Stuiver and Executive Director Carmelo Garcia. While a stale-mate early on in the evening failed to appoint Daglian in a 3-3 vote, he was later appointed when Vice Chairman Rob Davis came to the meeting to take are-vote. Stuiver -who was verbally berated by members of the public several times Thursday night, some of whom called him a "backstabber" - had called for the special meeting, planning to act on a resolution to award the year-long contract to the lawfirm of Florio, Perrucci, Steinhardt & Fader, one of four firms that responded to the HHA's request for proposal. Florio, Perucci asked for an annual base salary of $60,000; an hourly rate of $150 for special matters and tenant disputes to become the HHA's counsel. Daglian's proposal included a $45,000 salary and a $125 hourly rate for extra matters. http://hoboken.patch.com!groups/politics-and-elections/p/hostile-atmosphere-controIs-me... 10/10/2013
  13. 13. Hoboken Housing Authority Reappoints Attorney During Heated Meeting - Government ... Page 2 of 12 The annual salary for the authority's attorney is capped at a base of $50,000, Garcia said. UD until now, Daglian had been charging the Hoboken Housing Authority $60,000 annually. Stuiver said that a committee made up of himself as well as his allies and fellow commissioners David Mello and Greg Lincoln had discussed the four offers and picked Florio because they were most "comfortable" with that offer. "Comfort is a high urgency," Stuiver said. "We have to have a high level of trust." Garcia, in turn, said that the HHA is legally required to follow guidelines and score the bids following directions from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. According to the ranking completed by Garcia and two other Housing Authority executives, Daglian scored 100 points, against Florio's 71. ~tartlng at the beginning of the meeting, which lasted for more than three hours, Stuiver - banging the gavel loudly and often to quiet an agitated crowd of HHA residents - and Garcia disagreed about who has the ultimate power to hire the board's attorney. Some residents held signs with phrases like "Jake Must Go" and "Keep Politics out of the Housing Authority." Daglian told the board that the executive director is the sole appointing authority, a policy that is included in Garcia's contract. Garcia is about two years into his second five-year contract as HHA director. When hiring personnel or professionals, the Board of Commissioners has the right to veto or disagree with the director's choice, but not the right to appoint someone without the director's input. Hostile interactions between Stuiver, who was appointed HHA chairman in May, and Garcia persisted throughout the night. Garcia said that ever since, he has been functioning in a "stressful, hostile, work environment." Multiple residents signed up to speak at the meeting, many of them criticizing the chairman, displaying a growing disconnect between the residents and the board. "How are you as commissioners helping us?" asked Carmen Vega, who lives in Fox Hill Gardens, the HHA senior building. "Right now, this board is about two things: power and control," said Councilman Tim Occhipinti, who attended the meeting. "Politics is so infused in this board, you cannot not see it." Ultimately, the sWing vote was in the hands of Greg Lincoln - who was appointed to the HHA in June - when he broke with the majority and voted "no" on the Florio, Perucci contract. Lincoln explained, he felt "legally obligated" to do so after learning that the executive director has the sole appointing power. .http://hoboken.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/hostile-atmosphere-controls-me... 10/10/2013
  14. 14. City halts work on tourism website <br><font size=2><i> Project, contracted to council c... Page 1 of 4 City halts work on tourism website Project, contracted to council candidate, now bogged down in politics by Dean DeCh iaro Reporter s/(~trwriter 09.29.13 - 12:04 am The completion of a new tourism website for the city of Hoboken, meant to give a boost to local businesses following Hurricane Sandy and prior to the February 2014 Super Bowl in the Meadowlands, is being delayed because a co-owner of the firm contracted to build the site is running for City Council. Two Hoboken businessmen, one of whom is opposing allies of Mayor Dawn Zimmer in the upcoming November election, say the city is refusing to honor a contract worth tens of thousands to build the website, EnjoyHoboken.com. Joe Mindak and Kevin Cale, who together run the downtown design firm Tisha Creative, went before the City Council two weeks ago claiming that the tourism site was progressing smoothly until Mindak declared his candidacy for at-large council - on a ticket put together by one of Zimmer's challengers, state Assemblyman Ruben Ramos. "We'd been working on logos, slogans, everything, and it'd be going very smoothly with the city. We were going in for weekly meetings, collaborating on different ideas," said Cale in an interview last week. "And then Joe declared his candidacy for City Council, and boom, everything went quiet." The city has acknowledged that the issue stems from the election. The city would either like to turn the work over to another firm, or wait until after the election to revisit the issue with the current firm. The city said their concerns are related to "pay to play" campaign financing regulations. "Pay-to-play" is the practice of giving money to a political candidate in hopes of securing a job or contract once that candidate wins office. Over the last few years, the state and individual cities have enacted reforms saying that if a firm donates more than a few hundred dollars to a municipal political candidate, and the candidate wins, that firm can't then be hired by the city in the next few years. However, it is unclear how this would relate to Mindak's situation. He could theoretically donate money to himself, making him ineligible to continue doing work for the city if he took office next year. However, Mindak noted that the contract with the city expires this December, before he'd ever take office. Mindak's attorney said the city is getting ahead of itself. "I would analogize it to something along the lines of not allowing people to park because of the possibility that someone might break a parking law," said the http://www.hudsonreporter.comJprinter_friendly/23 710181 10110/2013
  15. 15. City halts work on tourism website <br><font size=2><i> Project, contracted to council c... Page 2 of 4 attorney, Richard Mackiewicz Jr. Partial payment? Tisha ha~ offered to turn over the work they've done so far to the city in return for partial payment, but they say that the amount the city has offered is insufficient. The most recent correspondence between Tisha and the city indicates a standstill over what Cale and Mindak believe they are owed, and the city's insistence that the work must be turned over to them before any payment can be made. Mindak said last week, "This is something that we were doing for the city's well being, and we didn't want to make it an issue, but we didn't really have other options." He also noted that time is of the essence, considering the Super Bowl happens in early February. In a letter to the city, Mindak and Cale said that if an agreement is not reached soon, they will have to use "another forum," apparently leading the city to think they are threatening litigation. But Cale said they meant speaking before the council when using the term "another forum." The council unanimously voted for Tisha's contract with the city, valued at $37,500, at a meeting in December of2012. Cale and Mindak said the number is approximately half of what they'd normally charge for such ajob, but felt an obligation to help the city in Sandy's wake. Mindak said that the city has made an offer of around $15,000 for the 200 or so hours Tisha has completed on the project. The firm says it should be given significantly more than that. Three issues Zimmer said that due to the potential for litigation, she could not speak extensively on the issue. But she said the issue was created by Mindak's choosing to run for office. "Mr. Mindak's council candidacy created the situation where he would be in the dual capacity as a city vendor and a candidate for office. It is his candidacy that created the conflict in pay-to-play issues that needed to be considered and addressed," she said. "If one of the city's outside attorneys were to announce a candidacy for City Council, I don't think anyone would question whether it would become inappropriate for that lawyer to continue representing the city of Hoboken." That situation might be a political conflict of interest issue rather than pay to http://www.hudsonreporter.com/printer_friendly/23710181 10/10/2013
  16. 16. City halts work on tourism website <br><font size=2><i> Project, contracted to council c... Page 3 of 4 play. But, the city said that there are other potential problems. In late March, following Mindak's campaign announcement, he and Mackiewicz attended a meeting with the city's attorneys at the mayor's request. The city's counselors, Mellissa Longo and Alicia Proko, outlined three potential issues with the city's contract with Tisha, according to a letter from Mackiewicz to the city dated April 4. The first issue is the possibility of pay-to-play violations. The second was the issue of who would maintain control of the website while Mindak was a candidate. If the web's designers maintained control, the city said, they could give certain local businesses priority over others on the website, possibly in connection with donations to Mindak's campaign. The third issue, the letter states, is the illegality of any sitting elected official having a contract with the city. But, Mindak would be sworn in in January of2014, the month after the contract expires, should he win. None of the city's letters to Mackiewicz said that it's illegal for a city vendor to seek elected office. In the past, some elected officials, including sitting at-large councilman Ravi Bhalla, an ally of Zimmer's running against Mindak in November, had previously held city contracts. Tisha has agreed to tum all passwords and access to the site over to the city, and Mindak maintained that he hasn't donated any money to his own campaign. But the city has asked that all work on the website stop until an agreement on payment can be settled. In the event of a settlement, the city would retain control of the work and complete the website with another vendor. Will it get done? The dispute leaves significant questions as to when the website, which is viewed by both the city and local business owners as an important step towards boosting the local economy, will be finished. Zimmer said last week that she is "very interested" in completing it, and that the project will move forward if the parties agrees to a settlement. Otherwise, it will have to wait until after the election. Cale said it is unfortunate that politics are getting in the way of an otherwise positive thing. "You know, I voted for [Zimmer]. I used to walk to work with her," he said. "I didn't think that this would create such an issue. What it comes down to is that this was supposed to be a good thing for Hoboken and now it may not happen before the Super Bowl, which is really when the city should have it." http://www.hudsonreporter.comlprinter_friendly/23 71 0181 10/10/2013
  17. 17. City halts work on tourism website <br><font size=2><i> Project, contracted to council c... Page 4 of 4 Dean DeChiaro may be reached at deand((j)hudsonreporter.com <> © hudsonreporter.com 2013 http://www.hudsonreporter.com/printer_friendly/2371 0181 10/10/2013
  18. 18. Pay to play firms gave $11.3 million to NJ. candidates in '08 I Politic... http://www.politickemj.com/wallye/28754/pay-play-firms-gave-113... I Login I Register for State Street Wire ISearch PolitickerNJ.com HOME I RESOURCES I WAKE-UP C/l.l. I PRESS RELEASES I BACK ROOM I STATE P STREET WIRE Pay to play firms gave $11.3 million to N.J. candidates in '08 By Wally Edge I April3rd, 2009 - 10:38am More In 2008, for-profit businesses with government contracts worth more than $17,500 contributed $11,336,900 to New Jersey candidates, party organizations and political action committees, according to reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. The top twenty contributors with public contracts, including both direct contributions and personal contributions of individuals with more than 10% equity: 1. T&M Associates: $557,520 2. Remington & Vernick Engineers, Inc.: $487,950 3. CME Associates: $395,485 4. Birdsall Services Group: $289,025 5. Parker McCay PA: $192,830 6. Richard A. Alaimo Associates; $188,050 7. Adams Rehmann and Heggan Associates: $184,950 8. Federici and Akin, PA Consulting Engineers: $171,950 9. Bowman & Company LLP: $150,320 10. Maser Consulting: $147,200 11. Wilentz, Goldman, Spitzer: $144,216 12. DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole and Wisler, LLP $139563 13.lIVaters, McPherson, McNeill, PC: $135,290 14. Environmental Resolutions: $117,500 15. Florio, Perrucci, Steinhardt & Fader, LLC: $114,550 ( 16. ArCher & Grenier pc: $113,401 17. Neglia Engineering Associates: $108,650 18. Capehart Scatchard PA: $108,650 19. Bach Associates, PC: 107,875 20. Business & Governmental Insurance Agency: $99,025 The ELEC site has spread sheets of pay to play campaign contributions and public contracts: https:llwwwnet1state.nj.usllpdleleclptplquickd... You May Like by Taboola Pastor Mocked for 30 Fairly Shocking His 'Biblical Money Pictures of Code,' G... Celebrities With •.• 101 Year Old Marathon Runner Shares His Seer... Moneynews CelebrityToob H..IthFIrat A VIsual Guide to Atrial Fibrillation Famous Child Stars of '50s, '60s, '705 Where Are 10 Celebrities Scamrned by Madoff AARP Bankrat. W.bMD From Politicker NJ by Taboola • Stockton Poll: Whelan up over Balles 51-39% In LD21 Politicke . • Assembly Approv.s Democratic M.asure to Tighten M.ntal H . • Who will be the next mayor of Newark? I Politicker NJ • January 6th, 2011: The third in line for the presidency, Sp.ak•... • PASSAIC COUNTY SHERIFF CANDIDATE, FEENAN, CALLS FOR S... • In attendance at Durkin's Essex fundraiser, Fulop says he wou . • Redd calls Lon.gan statement on bUlldozing Camden neighbo .. • Buono: Tim. for Governor Christie to Sign Medical Marijuana L . • Conaway & Singleton Announc. State Grants to Help BurlCo T .. lof2 10/10/2013 8:12 AM
  19. 19. -_.. ---- -- ._----- --- _._- ... - -~ .•. _,-- _ _.-_ __._--._._- ----- .._-- _. ... .. --.-. ._--..- . - - - _.._-­ F I LED APPELLATE OtV1S10N SEP 0"6 103 NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION ~~ SUPERIOR COURT OF ~~W JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION DOCKET NO. A-SOll-llT3 IN THE MATTER OF THO~~S SW~ENEY, CITY OF HOBOKEN Submitted September 3, 2013 - Decided September 6, 2013 Before Judges Harris and Fasciale. On appeal f ..om the Civil Service Commission, CSC Docket No. 2012-1170. C. Elston & Associates, LLC, attorney appellant (Catherine Thomas Sweeney Elston, on the. brief). for M. Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Fader, L.L.C., attorneys for respondent City of Hoboken (J. Andrew Kinsey, of counsel; Veronica P. Hallett, on the brief). John J. Hoffman, Acting -attorney for respondent Service Commission (Pamela Attorney General, on the of brief) . Attorney General, New Jersey Civil N. Ullman, Deputy statement in lieu ."l PER CURIAM Thomas Sweeney, a City of Hoboken laborer who was removed from his public employment on October 29, 2010, appeals from (1) the January 11, 2012 final determination of the Civil Service Co~~ission (the Coa~ission) denying his request for a hearing of his appeal of the removal, and (2) the May 3, 2012 request for reconsideration. We affirm.
  20. 20. On Noverrber5, 2010, Sweeney was served with an amended preliminary notice of disciplinary action charging him with several violations of N.J.A.C. 4A:2-2.3(a), including incompetency, inefficiency, or failure to perform duties; inability to perform duties; conduct unbecoming a public employee; and misuse of public property, including a motor vehicle. The notice accused Sweeney of being under the influence of an intoxicant while working at a city event on October 29, 2010. Through his attorney, Sweeney waived a departmental disciplinary hearing. Accordingly, on Decerober 17, 2010, the City served a final notice of disciplinary action on the attorney and Sweeney's union representative, which removed Sweeney from his municipal position effective October 29, 2010. On September 21, 2011, Sweeney filed a major disciplinary appeal form with the Commission for the first time. In his cover letter to the Commission, Sweeney averred that it was his understanding that "union counsel" would be filing a timely direct appeal with the Office of Administrative Law. "I "Tas told He wrote, by lIly union representatives that lIlY- appeal was filed," but, in fact, Sweeney learned in September 2011 that no such appeal had been filed on his behalf from his removal as a City laborer. Sweeney contends that his union misled him into 2 A-SOll-llT3
  21. 21. - ...-...-. __ __ . ._._~. __._-_ _--_ .. .. __ .~ .. _-'- -----_.__ ... _. -_ _._ ..--.- .. ... -- ._-_.- --_. - --~ -_. __ .- -_._...---.- _ _._-'_._ .•. .. _---- -- ._---_.. ­ believing that a timely appeal had been filed, and when he became dissatisfied with the union's responses, he engaged the service of a different attorney to prosecute his appeal. The Commission rejected Sweeney's appeal, notwithstanding his claim that he had never been personally served with the City's final notice of disciplinary action. The Commission rejected Sweeney's contentions on the ground that N.J.S.A. 11A:2-15's twenty-day appeal-filing-period "is jurisdictional and cannot be relaxed or waived." ,. It further relied upon N.J.A.C. 4A:2-2.8.(a), and cited Borough of Park Ridge v. Salimone, 21 N.J. 28, 46 (1956); Mesghali v. Bayside State Prison, 334 N.J. Super. 617, 621 (App. Div. 2000), certif. denied, 167 N.J. 630 (2001); and Murphy v. Department of Civil Service, 155 N.J. Super. 491, 493 (App. Div. 1978), in support of its denial of an appeal hearing. The Corrmission rejected Sweeney's application for reconsideration, which was largely devoted to Sweeney's claim that the City's failure to personally serve him with a final notice of disciplinary action tolled his time for an appeal. The COn:w::lis s ion noted that Sv,TEiH5ney "WaS clearly aTNare of his termination effective October 29, 2010[,] and was under the impression that his former union-assigned counsel filed an appeal on his behalf." Furthermore, it observed, 3 A-SOll-lIT3
  22. 22. [Sweeney] provides no explanation as to why he did not attempt to file his appeal directly wi th the Commission after he determined by the end of June 2011 that his former union counsel did not file an appeal on his behalf. The filing of his appeal with the Commission almost three months after he became aware that an appeal was not filed on his behalf would not be considered a reasonable time to file his appeal in accordance with N.J.S.A. 11A:2-15 and N.J.A.C. 4A:2-2.8. Accordingly, the Commission finds that the appellant has not established timeliness of his appeal and his request for a hearing was properly denied. We are in substantial agreement with the Commission's stated reasons for rejecting the appeal. Its determinations were not arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable. See In re Stallworth, 208 N.J. 182, 194 (2011). Affirmed. 1 We reject as wholly without merit Sweeney's claim that the lack of personal serYice upon him of the final notice of disciplinary action excuses his untimely appeal. ~ 2:l1-3(e)(1)(E). Sweeney knew in early November 2010 that his job had ended. Furthermore, his belief (albeit erroneous) that an· appeal, in fact, had been filed on his behalf obviates any putative effect of the non-personal service of the final notice of disciplinary action. Whether Sweeney was personally served or not is irrelevant to the lack of filing a timely ~p~~~l on his behalf. 1 !hereby certifY- that ~ ~~a:;g,, IS a .. 4 true copy crt ltle· o::iginaI nmy~ ~~~ , , CL..9< OF Tl£~TEOMS1a.1 A-SOll-llT3
  23. 23. Ravi..... 8haUa 'rom: SeM: To: 8u~ It ..5 .-Ued ./2) so bY, IIY count we ttsve to Attached 1. the cc.pla1ltt . .inst Me end 0 - . reply by 4/U. key faets .re On 8/14JZ8U 8S WlI follaws: had Iellk• • into our hOUSe result af a 8$ • S'tON. ... reported this to Chubb ~ requested that .. perII1t thIIl to s.",ta r8IIed1at1on crew to 11llit the potentul _age. I aa.... and the Mxt day Branch SIIrv1c.s C_" Bt Chubb· s request. Branch cut hOles in the Wills Wre there was wetness and left a few GIant c1e-hdid1fiars itt our haM to dry :1t.OIt. A 'few days late.. they , . and I'WIDY.fld 1:hedeNn1di.fl.ers. The.... 1IItiIS nn.r any d1scussion of ~t. .U'.' Shortly after the .....1di.,1.J'S ..... ~.. a Olubb adjuster cae 'to our hoUse to evaluate the elm. The next d41Y, Il1chal"d -Miller f..- arench serv1ee, called to ask llfhQn he could CGIIe to -do 'the appraisal.- I -.s surpriMd b8c.use Chubb tuId told .. that they did not 1ft involved in the appraisal process· thft t wu free to set II}' CMt. Nevertheless I qreed and he c_ the next d8y (I think) - sc.et:1_ in l8te AupSt. I asked when 1 would receive the appraise1 and he said -in • f . dtlys.· 1 di.<I not rectiw tM ~81s.l, but I beUeve that ChUbb did. About .....k later' 1 recei"ed • letter of,.. 0IJbb deny1na IIY ella but pay1"8 _ $2,"8.94 which they said ws u.. cost of ....-diltion less IlY $588 decl.Ietible. At no ti.. did .I eeree pay 8rwtCh for their services" thouP chubb did S'QU in their awer letter .cc~nyi"l the chec;k that they antic:ipeted that: I tIaUld do 50. t had not n 'tNt tiM l"eCe1ved a blll troD Br.ncb services n had no 1dei1I IIIh8t the eGSt: was. Branch tlad advised Chubb of the cos't MI'tMr tNIn • • 11M,.. was no release lancUilllt on the cheCk and after daposl1: it:. The check ..as Mda out to _ Met~. account 1 hlMt ~th my iIOttw instS of, t"-, ~ ~ I have not" roe-depOSited it:. . -T ,lJ,:. c· hold1nl 11: fer a few 'lllftks I decided to 1 .~c1dental1y deIJo51'ted 1't in a jo1nt: with o-n and the bank bounced it bect: . ­ .;. ':~ r In OCtober.. 8ranch sent _ a leUer asldna _ to fill out a Cet"'tiflc3te of sat1sfaction with respect to their .....It. I responded wi'ttli • lftter 1&ftorinl 1:hft request and askina ~ t had MYer received the apprasal they had .reed "to proricle. 0'1 OCtober 4th, i ediately aft~ reeetv!na II)' letter J theY fedextld .. an appra1sal c1ai1ai.n1 ti'aet the delay ._ due to hurr1cane Irene. Note that I still h8cI Mver been DWad Tor tM1r tIDf'k and thlt ~ clurly ant1c1p8ted bet... paid by Chubb. On November 22M" .art! than 3 ....ths 8'ft@or the WDI"It vas dOne. I reee! ved fo.- ttle first tlJIe an invoke Tor $3,2.78.94. 11e involee -"5 dated '/13/zeU, but had never been aen1: to Me before. This is 1MpUd'tl, conft..... by 'the COVC!'- letter thoUIh 1t doesn'"t explldtl, say it. 1
  24. 24. • The • reMdlation- wh.1d _ or My not hBve been necesSiry- the need for tmich was det'eMllincc;l by Chubb' oS contractor has left us w1th ftUII8rous holes in our walls and a hole in the prace ceiling. B.it5~ 01'1 the est1Mte prepeM1d by ' ..Inch the cost of clod,.. all 'the NMd1ation holes and n!fJ'1nt1na is approxi.lItely $8Jeee. I think a countercUUl for thb tIOU1d do no ha",~ with 01" w.11:1v1ut: • crosscla1. apinst Chubb. C;an a (J'lOSI ella be add-.:f W ...l lNnks 1n adViJn(;e for your help. Feel frei tich8rP 1f Stan 2 rul lIIOrk 15 involved.
  25. 25. RPC 1.7. Conflict of Interest: General Rule • (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation involves a concurrent conflict of interest. A concurrent conflict of interest exists if: • (1) the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client; or • t ere IS a sIgnificant risk that the representatIon of one or more clients will be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client, a former client, or a third erson or by a personal interest of the la er. • otwithstan mg the existence of a concurrent conflict of interest under paragraph (a), a lawyer may represent a client if: • (1) each affected client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing, after full disclosure and consultation, provided, however, that a public entity cannot consent to any such representation. When the lawyer represents multiple clients in a single matter, the consultation shall include an explanation of the common representation and the advantages and risks involved; • (2) the lawyer reasonably believes that the lawyer will be able to provide competent and diligent representation to each affected client; • (3) the representation is not prohibited by law; and • (4) the representation does not involve the assertion of a claim by one client against another client represented by the lawyer in the same litigation or other proceeding before a tribunal.
  26. 26. RPC 1.8. Conflict of Interest: Current Clients; Specific Rules • • • • • • • • (8) A lawyer shall not enter into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquire an ownership, possessory, secunty or other pecunIary interest adverse to a client unless: o (1) the transaction and terms in which the lawyer acquires the interest are fair and reasonable to the client and are fully disclosed and transmitted in writing to the client in a manner that can be understood by the client; o (2) the client is advised in writing of the desirability of seeking and is given a reasonable opportunity to seek the advice of independent legal counsel of the client's choice concerning the transaction; and o (3) the client gives informed consent, in a writing signed by the client, to the essential terms of the transaction and the lawyer's role in the transaction, including whether the lawyer is representing the client in the transaction. (b) Except as permitted or required by these rules, a lawyer shall not use information relating to representation of a client to the disadvantage of the client unless the client after full disclosure and consultation, gives informed consent. (c) A lawyer shall not solicit any substantial gift from a client, including a testamentary gift, or prepare on behalf of a client an instrument giving the lawyer or a person related to the lawyer any substantial gift unless the lawyer or other recipient of the gift is related to the client. For purposes of this paragraph, related persons include a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, or other relative or individual with whom the lawyer or the client maintains a close, familial relationship. (d) Prior to the conclusion of representation of a client, a lawyer shall not make or negotiate an agreement giving the lawyer literary or media rights to a portrayal or account based in substantial part on information relating to the representation. (e) A lawyer shall not provide financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or contemplated litigation, except that: o (1) a lawyer may advance court costs and expenses oflitigation, the repayment of which may be contingent on the outcome of the matter; and o (2) a lawyer representing an indigent client may pay court costs and expenses of litigation on behalf of the client; and o (3) a non-profit organization authorized under R. 1:21-1 (e) may provide financial assistance to indigent clients whom it is representing without fee. (f) A lawyer shall not accept compensation for representing a client from one other than the client unless: o (1) the client gives informed consent; o (2) there is no interference with the lawyer's independence of professional judgment or with the lawyer-client relationship; and o (3) information relating to representation of a client is protected as required by RPC 1.6. (g) A lawyer who represents two or more clients shall not participate in making an aggregate settlement of the claims of or against the clients, or in a criminal case an aggregated agreement as to guilty or no contest pleas, unless each client gives informed consent after a consultation that shall include disclosure of the existence and nature of all the claims or pleas involved and of the participation of each person in the settlement. (h) A lawyer shall not:
  27. 27. (1) make an agreement prospectively limiting the lawyer's liability to a client for malpractice unless the client fails to act in accordance with the lawyer's advice and the lawyer nevertheless continues to represent the client at the client's request. Notwithstanding the existence of those two conditions, the lawyer shall not make such an agreement unless permitted by law and the client is independently represented in making the agreement; or o (2) settle a claim or potential claim for such liability with an unrepresented client or former client unless that person is advised in writing ofthe desirability of seeking and is given a reasonable opportunity to seek the advise of independent legal counsel in connection therewith. • (i) A lawyer shall not acquire a proprietary interest in the cause of action or subject matter of litigation the lawyer is conducting for a client, except that the lawyer may: (1) acquire a lien granted by law to secure the lawyer's fee or expenses, (2) contract with a li t . . o • (j) While lawyers are associated in a firm, a prohibition in the fore oin tmoug I t t app les to anyone of them shall apply to all of them. • (k) A lawyer employed by a public entity, either as a lawyer or in some other role, shall not undertake the representation of another client if the representation presents a substantial risk that the lawyer's responsibilities to the public entity would limit the lawyer's ability to provide independent advice or diligent and competent representation t either the public entity or the client. • (I) A public entity cannot consent to a representation otherwise prohibited by this Rule.
  28. 28. New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Division of Local Government Services Local Finance Board The Local Government Ethics Law was enacted in 1991. The Local Finance Board in the Department of Community Affairs Division of Local Government Services perfonns certain functions under this law which are described in the DCA Programs Book under Local Government EthicS Law. l'j'EW JERSEY STATUTES TITLE 40A:9-22.1 et seq. LOCAL GOVERNMENT ETIDCS LAW (CURRENT TO 3/15/91) The text of the statute follows: SECTION • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 40A:9-22.1. Short title 40A:9-22.2.Findings, declarations 40A:9-22.3. Definitions 40A:9-22.4. Local Finance Board to have jurisdiction 40A:9-22.5. Provisions requiring compliance by local government officers, employees 40A:9-22.6. Annual financial disclosure statement 40A:9-22.7. Powers of Local Finance Board 40A:9-22.8. Request for advisory opinion from Local Finance Board 40A:9-22.9. Response by Local Finance Board to written complaint 40A:9-22.10. Violations, penalties 40A:9-22.11. Disciplinary actions against officer, employee found guilty of violation 40A:9-22.12. Conducting of hearings 40A:9-22.13. Establishment of county ethics board 40A:9-22.14. Provision of offices to county ethics board 40A:9-22.15. County code of ethics established 40A:9-22.16. Powers of county ethics board 40A:9-22.17. Request for advisory opinion from county ethics board
  29. 29. i. "Member of immediate family" means the spouse or dependent child of a local government officer or employee residing in the same household. L.1991,c.29,s.3. 40A:9~22.4 Local Finance Board to have jurisdiction The Local Finance Board in the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Mfairs shall have jurisdiction to govern and guide the conduct oflocal government officers or employees regarding violations ofthe provisions of this act who are not otherwise regulated by a county or municipal code of ethics promulgated by a county or municipal ethics board in accordance with the provisions of this act. Local government officers or employees serving a local government agency created by more than one county or municipality shall be under the jurisdiction ofthe board. The board in interpreting and applying the provisions of this act shall recognize that under the principles of democracy. public officers and employees cannot and should not be expected to be without any personal interest in the decisions and policies of government; that citizens who are government officers and employees have a right to private interests of a personal. financial and economic nature; and that standards of conduct shall distinguish between those conflicts of interest which are legitimate and unavoidable in a free society and those conflicts of interest which are prejudicial and material and are, therefore. corruptive of democracy and free society. L.1991,c.29,s.4. 40A:9~22.5 Provisions requiring compliance by local government officers, employees Local government officers or employees under the ju risdiction of the Local Finance Board shall comply with the following provisions: a. No local government officer or employee or member of his immediate family shall have an interest in a business organization or engage in any business, transaction. or professional activity, which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his dutie5 in the public interest; bureau b. No independent local authority shall, for a period of one year next subsequent to the termination of office of a member ofthat authority: (1) award any contract which is not publicly bid toa former member of that authority;
  30. 30. (2) allow a former member of that authority to represent, appear for or negotiate on behalf of any other party before that authority; or (3) employ for compensation, except pursuant to open competitive examination in accordance with Title ilA of the New Jersey Statutes and the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, any former member of that authority. The restrictions contained in this subsection shall also apply to any business organization in which the former authority member holds an interest. c. No local government officer or employee shall use or attempt to use his official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself or others; d. No local government officer or employee shall act in his official capacity in any matter where he, a member of his immediate family, or a business organization in which he has an interest, has a direct or indirect financial or personal involvement that might reasonably be expected to impair his objectivity or independence of judgment; e. No local government officer or employee shall undertake any emplOYment or service, whether compensated or not, which might reasonably be expected to prejudice his independence of judgment in the exercise of his official duties; f. No local government officer or employee, member of his immediate family, or business organization in which he has an interest, shall solicit or accept any gift, favor, loan, political contribution, service, promise of future emplOYment, or other thing of value based upon an understanding that the gift, favor, loan, contribution, service, promise, or other thing of value was given or offered for the purpose of influencing him, directly or indirectly, in the discharge of his official duties. This provision shall not apply to the solicitation or acceptance of contributions to the campaign of an announced candidate for elective public office, if the local government officer has no knowledge or reason to believe that the campaign contribution, if accepted, was given with the intent to influence the local government officer in the discharge of his official duties; g. No local government officer or employee shall use, or allow to be used, his public office or employment, or any information, not generally available to the members of the public, which he receives or acquires in the course of and by reason of his office or employment, for the purpose of securing financial gain for himself, any member of his immediate family, or any business organization with which he is associated; h. No local government officer or employee or business organization in which he has an interest shall represent any person or party other than the local government in connection with any cause, proceeding. application or other matter pending before any agency in the local government in which he serves. This provision shall not be deemed to prohibit one local government employee from representing another local government employee where the local government agency is
  31. 31. Optional Municipal Charter Law N J.S.A. 40:69A-l et seq. (Current as ofDecember 2003) New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Division of Local Government Seniees 101 South Broad Street PO Box 803 Trenton, NJ 08625-0803 (609) 292-6110 Wvw.11i .gov/dealdIgs dlgs@dea.state.nj.us
  32. 32. 40:69A-34.3. First council members; terms of office a. Any municipality adopting a mayor-council plan of government may provide in its charter that the council members elected at the first regular municipal election or general election, as the charter shall provide, following the adoption of the plan shall serve for the following terms: if the municipal council is to consist of five members, two shall serve for four years and three for two years; if the municipal council is to consist of seven members, three shall serve for four years and four for two years; or ifthe municipal council is to consist of nine members, four shall serve for four years and five for two years. The length of the respective term of each member of the first council shall be determined by lot at the organization of the council immediately following the election. b. Nomithstanding the provisions of subsection a of this section, if a municipality adopting the provisions of this section shall also provide in its charter that the municipality shall be divided into wards pursuant to the authority granted in section 1-13 or 1-19 (C.40:69A-13 or 40:69A-19), the council members elected at the first regular municipal election or general election, as the charter shall provide, following the adoption of the plan shall serve as follows: the council members elected at large for a term of four years; and the council members elected from wards for a tenn of two years. L.1981, c.465, 5.18; amended 1989,c.221,s.3. 40:69A-36. Legislative power The legislative power of the municipality shall be exercised by the municipal council, subject to the procedures set forth in this plan of government. Legislative powers shall be exercised by ordinance, except for the exercise of those powers that, under this plan of government or general law, do not require action by the mayor as a condition of approval for the exercise thereof, and may, therefore, be exercised by resolution, including, but not limited to: a. The override of a veto of the mayor; b. The exercise of advice and consent to actions of the mayor; c. The conduct of a legislative inquiry or investigation; d. The expression of disapproval of the removal by the mayor of officers or employees; e. The removal of any municipal officer for cause; f. The adoption of rules for the council; g. The establishment of times and places for council meetings; Optional Municipal Charter Law N.J.S.A 40:69A-l et seq. Page 20
  33. 33. h. The establishment of the council as a committee of the whole and the delegation of any number of its members as an ad hoc committee; 1. The declaration of emergencies respecting the passage of ordinances; j. The election, appointment:, setting of salaries and removal of officers and employees of the council, subject to any pertinent civil service requirements and any pertinent contractual obligations, and within the general limits of the municipal budget; k. Designation of official newspapers; 1. Approval of contracts presented by the mayor; m. Actions specified as resolutions in the ''Local Budget Law" (N.J.S. 40A:4­ I etseq.) and the "Local Fiscal Affairs Law" (N.J.S. 40A:5-l et seq.); and n. The expression of council policies or opinions which require no formal action by the mayor. L. 1950, c. 210, p. 473, s. 3-6, eff. June 8, 19.50. Amended by L. 198.5, c. 374, s. 2, eff. Nov. 26, 1985. 40:69A-37. Investigative, removal powers The council, in addition to such other powers and duties as may be conferred upon it by this charter or otherwise by general law, may: (a) Require any municipal officer, in its discretion, to prepare and submit sworn statements regarding his official duties in the performance thereof, and otherwise to investigate the conduct of any department, office or agency ofthe municipal government; (b) Remove, by at least two-thirds vote of the whole number of the council, any municipal officer, other than the mayor or a member of council, for cause, upon notice and an opportunity to be heard. L. 1950, c. 210, p. 473, s. 3-7, eff. June 8, 1950. Amended by L. 1985, c. 374, s. 3, eff. Nov. 26, 1985. 40:69A-37.1. Mayoral control of administration In any municipality adopting the mayor-council plan of government, the municipal council shall deal with employees of the department of administration and other administrative departments solely through the mayor or his designee. All contact with the employees, and all actions and communications concerning the administration of the Optional Municipal Charter Law NJ.S.A40:69A-l et seq. Page 21
  34. 34. NOW, THERFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City of Hoboken as follows: 1) The Council hereby finds and declares that the actions of Councilman Michael Russo, as previously set forth in this resolution, are unacceptable, and constitute conduct unbecoming of a member of the City Council; and 2) The Council calls upon the United States Attorney's Office to publicly release any and all additional information available relating to its corruption investigation in Hoboken City government; and, 3) The Council calls upon the United States Attorney's Office to publicly release any and all additional information available relating to its corruption investigation in Hoboken City government; and, -duly seconded by Councilwoman Castellano ---Adopted with amendments by the following vote: YEAS: 5 - NAYS: 4 ---Yeas: Council persons Castellano, Giacchi, Occhipinti, Russo and President Mason. ---Nays: Bhalla, Cunningham, Marsh, Mello. !!:2J!l --By Councilwoman Marsh RESOLUTION CENSURING COUNCILMAN MICHAEL RUSSO AND CALLING ON HIM TO RESIGN AS CITY COUNCIL VICE PRESIDENT, CHAIR OF THE FINANCE AND REVENUE COMMITTEE AND COMMISIONER OF THE HOBOKEN HOUSING AUTHORTIY WHEREAS, a recent book entitled "The Jersey Sting" including the fo11owing disclosure with respect to Councilman Michael Russo's previously unknown meeting with Solomon Dwek: "You need something? Boom, " continued Khalil. "Ca/l me tomorrow: "I needfive, en grand/or my campaign. " Boom. " As intended, Russo was impressed. "Always nice to have friends /ike that. " Then they got down to business. "Whatever I do, /'/1 do through Maher .. .! don't want to do anything in my name. I don't want to have any conflicts, " Dwek said. "You're a smart man," Russo observed. "/'/1 give him five thousand next week and you '/I work it out... and after the election, /'/1 do the same. It '/I be more. " Russo agreed and then the/oursome broke up. After that, however, Russo would not take ca/ls from Dwek's middlemen... WHEREAS, in response to this disclosure and assertions by the public that Councilman Russo's conduct was improper, Councilman Russo defended his conduct to the Hoboken Reporter insisting that he "made it very clear to Mr. Dwek (he) would not except cash contributions", that there was to be "no quid pro quo" and" told him what the legalities are"; and Meeting of April 6, 2011 3
  35. 35. WHEREAS, on April 4, 2011 the full tape of the meeting between Councilman Russo and Solomon Dwek was made public and the tape confIrmed the accuracy of the account provided in the book and did not contain any of the exculpatory statements claimed by Councilman Russo; and WHEREAS, it is clear from the FBI surveillance tape that Councilman Russo agreed to provide expedited treatment for development projects in the same conversation in which he agreed to accept a $5,000 payment to be laundered through a third party, including the following exchanges, as reported by Hoboken Patch: "Dwek asked if his zoning variances would be heard within 30 or 60 days, rather than the procedural six months to a year. At ftrst Russo answered that he couldn't answer that right away. After Dwek specified that he means after the elections and after Russo's "people are in place", the councilman responded that "once we get those people in place we'II most certainly expedite all those in place, we'll most certainly expedite ail those applications." The "people in place," Russo explained moments earlier on the tape, were the three- council-at­ large candidates who'd run on Councilwoman Beth Mason's mayoral ticket. In return for his supporting her campaign, Russo explained to Dwek and the other two men at the table, he would be allowed to handpick the candidates on her slate." "I'm an investor, developer... I don't want to be left on the bottom of the pile," Dwek said to Russo. "That's why I do what I gotta do with the right people." "Absolutely," Russo answered again." WHEREAS, far from supporting Councilman Russo's claim that his actions were proper, the tapes raise other serious questions beyond possibly bribery, and solicitation and acceptance of illegal campaign contributions, including a specific example of trading housing and a position on the HHA Board of political gain; and WHEREAS, the initial printed excerpts, Councilman Russo's demonstrably false response, and the contents of the subsequently released tape taken as a whole, demonstrate Councilman Russo's unfitness to represent the City of Hoboken as Council Vice-President, Revenue and Finance Committee chair, on any committee, or as Commissioner of the Hoboken Housing Authority. NOW, THERFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Hoboken calls upon Councilman Russo to resign as Vice-President and if he does not, calls an immediate vote of no confidence to remove him; and, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Council calls on Council President Mason to immediately remove Councilman Russo as Chair of the Revenue and Finance committee and from all committee; and, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Council of the City of Hoboken calls upon Councilman Russo to resign his position as Hoboken Housing Authority commissioner and if he does not, directs Corporation Counsel to determine if sufficient evidence exists to support his removal for cause as Hoboken Housing Authority commissioner. In the event that sufficient cause exists, corporation counsel shall take all further steps to present to the council at its next meeting, the set of procedures required to accomplish this removal as quickly as possible; and Meeting of April 6, 2011 4
  36. 36. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in light of Councilman Russo's actions taken as a whole, the Council hereby censures Councilman Russo for his actions for the discredit he has brought on the City of Hoboken. The speakers who spoke: Patricia Waiters, Scott Siegel, Thomas Greaney, Forde Prigot, Michael Lenz, Andrew Cartwright, Linda Walker, Lane Bajardi, Don Pellicano, Perry BeHiore, Roman Brice, Rami Pinchevsky, Hany Ahmed, David Leibler. ---duly seconded by Councilman Bhalla ---FAILED by the following vote: YEAS: 4 - NAYS: 4 ---Yeas: Council persons Bhalla, Cunningham, Marsh, Mello ---Nays: Castellano, Giacchi, Occchipinti, President Mason. ---Present: Russo. 11-931 .--By Councilwoman Marsh RESOLUTION APPOINTING VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE CITY COUNCIL Appointing David Mello as Vice-President of the City Council, term effective April 6, 2011 through June 30,2011. -duly seconded by Councilman Cunningham ---FAILED by the following vote: YEAS: 4 - NAYS: 5 ---Yeas: Council persons Bhalla, Cunningham, Marsh, Mello ---Nays: Castellano, Giacchi, Occhipinti, Russo, President Mason. 11-982 ---By Councilwoman Castellano RESOLUTION APPOINTING VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE CITY COUNCIL Appointing Tim Occhipinti as the Vice-President of the City Council, term effective April 6, 2011 through June 30, 2011. -duly seconded by Councilman Giacchi ---Adopted by the following vote: YEAS: 5 - NAYS: 4 ---Yeas: Council persons Castellano, Giacchi, Occhipinti, Russo and President Mason. ---Nays: Bhalla, Cunningham, Marsh, Mello. PUBLIC HEARING and FINAL VOTE ON ORDINANCES Second Reading / Public Hearing and Final Vote AN ORDINANCE RECODIFYING CHAPTER 29 WITH THE TITLE "ETHICS" (Z-92) President Mason directed the City Clerk to announce that the Council would consider for final passage the aforesaid ordinance and all persons interested at this time would be given an opportunity to be heard concerning said ordinance of which the heading was read in full. Meeting of April 6,2011 5

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