A bountiful legal contract and the art of the HudCo deal


When it comes to Hudson County re: the business of HudCo, the public good is a sidebar consideration for the players who play the game. They just want it to look good or not be looked upon at all.

This won’t be one of those times.

The “Isle of Hoboken” finds itself left out of one unauthorized HudCo deal forcing its Old Guard denizens who see themselves entitled to get their hands on anything not nailed down to wander outside the Mile Square borders when looking to cash in and when the voters aren’t looking (or worse, not voting?)

Mayor Dawn Zimmer living up to her precepts on ethics and good government is an anomaly who doesn’t fit in with the HudCo boys club. Hoboken isn’t “open for business” to the chagrin of Old Guard soliders near and far.

This is after all a county which honors party machines and bosses past and present such as Frank Hague whose “leadership” in Jersey City made him exceeding powerful and wealthy. The excess is chalked up to the price of vision in an engorged Hudson County tax bill and elections are best held with limited re: nominal Republican opposition. (See the top of the November county ballot for one such example.)

On Thursday, MSV broke the story of a Frank Raia – Michael Russo deal looped in with Mayor Felix Roque in Weehawken. That’s perhaps the wrong angle on the lens. From a Hoboken centric view, the deal involves two political players with a major municipal and council majority the stakes but it’s not central to the machinations at hand.

Those Hoboken Old Guard players are mere cogs spinning with the far larger objective of the North Hudson Sewerage Authority legal contract, a fat payday worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A reliable source says the pow wow was eye witnessed early last week at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Weehawken and all the players at the popular harborside restaurant with wonderment at “the deal” going down.

In attendance, West New York Mayor Felix Roque, Hoboken Councilman Michael Russo, NHSA commissioner Frank “Pupie” Raia, West New York power broker Donald Scarinci and West New York mayoral rival Count Wiley, who also doubles as a political friend of Raia.

The deal orchestrated centered not on the Hoboken third ward election match-up, not on the West New York NHSA commissioner seat and the tasty morsel of taxpayer paid health benefits but the North Hudson Sewerage Authority’s legal contract.

That prize is valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and the focus of the deal masterminded.

All this coming light is not making for much happiness and driving one venerate audiophile power broker “crazy.” HudCo bosses atop the food chain left in the dark getting wind of what went down behind their backs are reportedly angry. (Think Big Brian and Uncle Nick.)

Loose lips sink ships but not necessarily a HudCo deal with Pupie’s beloved taxpayer health bennies.

Mayor Felix Roque of West New York. His office
is at the center of a deal masterminded with an eye
toward a lucrative NHSA contract. The bit players
include Hoboken Councilman Michael Russo and
Frank “Pupie” Raia who has an appetite for
taxpayer paid healthcare benefits.

The rest of this story is MSV Premium and will be sent to members via email later today.

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