Corruption bomb drops in Hoboken with Chris Campos and Carmelo Garcia at epicenter

Initial analysis on the latest string of federal corruption arrests on Hoboken’s Old Guard

The arrest by the FBI of former Hoboken City Councilman Chris Campos for alleged multi-million bank and wire fraud dovetails across the Hudson with federal investigation into the Hoboken Housing Authority under his controversial friend and former head of that agency, Carmelo Garcia.

The public may find it intriguing the US Attorney’s Offices involved are the NY Southern District in Manhattan, (as high profile as it gets) and Newark, NJ where lots of churn has gone on with Hoboken but seen little in the way of results since 2009 when former mayor and convicted felon Peter Cammarano was nabbed in a massive statewide federal sting under former management.

Chris Campos (r) appears in this photo from his law firm’s website with Carmelo Garcia (l) and a third unidentified man. Campos and Garcia’s relationship will face further scrutiny with his arrest Wednesday by the FBI for alleged bank and wire fraud.

Some of you may remember the person who began that 2009 investigation and the federal informant star Solomon Dwek who held meetings with other Old Guard Hoboken figures; the person who greenlighted the statewide sting: Chris Christie.

MSV first to report the Campos arrest yesterday in Hoboken actually came a day after the actual frog marching took place as the Old Guard no doubt knew very well one of their own core members had been snagged but kept mum.

No one in the Old Guard is talking but everyone in Hoboken and Hudson County is asking the same question. Where’s Carmelo?

Campos not only was the paid Chief of Staff to Carmelo Garcia’s short one term two year stint as NJ Assemblyman for $40,000 a year ending last year; he was the point man in attending Hoboken Housing Authority meetings trying to run interference on the burgeoning problems for Mister Carmelo being uncovered by its Chair Dana Wefer.

The clashes became intense as Campos would inject surly remarks of objection aloud and out of order in meetings most Hoboken professionals would not be comfortable let alone be pleased to deal with but for Hoboken’s Old Guard, especially out of the fourth ward – it’s SOP – Standard Operating Procedure.

Campos and Wefer would later clash over the HHA bidding process when his law firm’s fax number appeared on a bid for the agency’s legal contract. He voiced being “flabbergasted” she questioned the impropriety of his role with another law firm while simultaneously acting as Chief of Staff to Carmelo Garcia.

That was prescient to the other FBI alleged nefarious activities going on outside the HHA.

The big question on some minds: what will the US Attorney’s Offices in New York and New Jersey do in cooperating to puncture the culture of corruption impacting the Old Guard in Hoboken?

Talking Ed Note: Commenter GoodGovernusGiantus offered his giant thoughts on the latest Old Guard corruption bomb to hit Hoboken writing,

Another example of the greased wheels of HUDCO incorporated in action. No surprise here given the ethical record of Chris Compost as a matter of public record and privately as well. No way he gets 30 years. If he is smart he will plea out and give the FEDs something useful.  

My money is on 3-5 years. Nay stickup men get 20-30. White collar crime is not punished enough. 

If Chris Campos turns into a singing birdie, I wonder if any other Hoboken “actors” will feel the pinch. Garcia quaking in his boots? We shall see. Stay tuned. Car loans is interesting given Garcia’s history with mortgages. A good source rejected a shady deal proposal from Garcia over ten years ago regarding the mortgage broker business. 

Another Mason ally caught in the muck of a Hoboken Kreim spree. LOL.”

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