Beth Mason on trial today


Before you get excited by the prospect of justice reaching the Mile Square, what’s on trial is simply one of Beth Mason’s lawsuits – this one being against her council colleagues and the City to overturn the appointment of Jim Doyle to the at-large council seat last month.

A showdown delayed by Hurricane Sandy occurs today at 2:00 in Jersey City where a Hudson County judge will review New Jersey law surrounding what constitutes a legal voting majority on the City Council to backfill an appointment on the body.

A Superior Court County judge will evaluate the complaint by Beth Mason, Michael Russo, Terry Castellano and Tim Occhipinti whether the appointment is valid as they claim four council votes does not constitute a majority of the eight outstanding members.  In 2009, Mayor Zimmer was the deciding fifth vote in appointing Michael Lenz to her fourth ward seat.

MORTe hatched a plan to ensure there was no 4-4 tie leading into the mayor voting on the appointment in October.  Rotating absences saw Beth Mason and Michael Russo skip out in consecutive meetings as part of an obvious strategy to create a legal strategy to nullify the appointment – in court.

Councilman Jim Doyle last month in the Hoboken City Council.
The Mason funded lawsuit to stop his appointment is being heard today.

At the special City Council meeting Tuesday, the Old Guard council minority stopped their endless protest during and after every vote cast by Councilman Jim Doyle for political practicality due to the huge losses suffered by residents in Hurricane Sandy. The pause on the political power games the minority lives for was put temporarily on hold until today’s court hearing.

Part of the die cast in the legal proceedings rides on two clearly planned absences by Michael Russo and Beth Mason to prevent a tie vote and delegitimize any vote by Mayor Zimmer.

Beth Mason who reportedly was in Italy at the first of the council votes on the appointment was seen by a reliable source driving with her daughter in Hoboken just hours before the meeting.  She gave no notice or explanation in advance to anyone for her absence in the City Clerk’s Office or Council President Peter Cunningham.

The 4-3 vote followed another at the next City Council meeting with Michael Russo rotating out and offering word in advance of his absence due to family illness.  Both votes followed with Mayor Dawn Zimmer casting an additional vote as she had in 2009.

Now a Hudson County Superior Court judge will determine whether the fun and games of MORTe should constitute nullifying the appointment of Jim Doyle with a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) this afternoon.  An answer on the TRO may conclude the matter in its entirety.

Meaning there may not be a trial needed if the judge rules against the complaint or throws out the case.

If the TRO is approved and moves forward, the council would have only eight members and see deadlock for almost a full year with November elections scheduled for three at-large council seats including Doyle’s.

Beth Mason’s legal war on Hoboken will see her
allowance money used in Hudson County court today.

Talking Ed Note: Beth Mason’s date with justice will have to wait.  For now.

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