HHA Director Carmelo Garcia in attempted scam on latest HHA counsel vote
Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Garcia’s claim a 4-3 vote recorded in the meeting minutes last month in favor of reappointing HHA Counsel Charles Daglian counsel review is false with conclusive video from the HHA meeting last month.
In the exclusive video, HHA commissioner Judy Burrell clearly is heard on the phone voting “no” at the June meeting.
The Executive Director is claiming a vote at the July meeting approving its minutes with the incorrectly recorded vote is a legal pretext to seeking approval from an outside Hudson County attorney who may then approve the reappointment of Charles Daglian as HHA counsel.
The political gambit however comes before the actual video of the June vote was known to be available. HHA meetings are not recorded, merely transcribed by a stenographer.
Garcia already a party to controversy in pushing for approval of Vision 20/20 with no comprehensive plan for the City of Hoboken to review is under additional scrutiny for his supporters protesting outside the homes of two HHA commissioners in recent weeks and a call for another protest against a third in Jake Stuiver urged by his close friend Joe Branco.
The vote at last month’s meeting for legal counsel was conducted without the benefit of a required HUD mandated bidding process. At the June meeting, Garcia read a legal opinion from an outside counsel in Hudson County claiming it permitted another vote without a HUD bidding process.
The language of the “legal opinion” which was not given to any HHA commissioners in advance of the meeting described initiating a “motion to reconsider” but no commissioner requested any reconsideration on their previous vote against Charles Daglian as legal counsel for the fifth time in the past year.
Carmelo Garcia himself admits the resolution failed after last month’s vote and says immediately after – the RFP process will be restarted again.
In a statement on the process of Garcia’s effort to put a back door strategy in place to reappoint Daglian, Stuiver emailed, “I never received a hard copy of this month’s agenda book which is where the minutes are printed and the scanned copy I received via email was curiously upside down… I know other commissioners had similar… (and) presumed the upside down scan to be a mistake by our staff but in light of what obviously turned out to be a staged political operation… I have to suspect it was not a mistake at all.”
In an interview with Hudson County TV, Garcia outlines a process of review after the minutes were approved with his chosen outside legal counsel. He talks about the minutes being “made official,” even though HHA commissioner Burrell said she voted “no” on Charles Daglian.
The stenographer however recorded Burrell’s vote as a “yes.” In the first video below Garcia says the special counsel he is appealing to may override the actual vote based on not what the HHA commissioner actually says she voted but what the stenographer says and the approval of the minutes given to commissioners in an upside down, limited format.
He then goes on to complain about “blogs,” with false accusations claiming attacks on residents, racist commentary, false audit claims among other fabricated charges. At the meeting Garcia told the commissioners they should ‘denounce’ MSV and Grafix Avenger. (MSV actually spoke at the prior City Council meeting for the first time this year repeatedly denouncing the exploitation of HHA residents.)
Here’s Garcia in the Hudson County TV interview:
At the June HHA meeting, Garcia himself is seen admitting the vote to reappoint Daglian failed and no commissioner claims the process won’t need to go out to bid again after a 4-3 vote. (Video below.)
Voting in favor to re-appoint Charles Daglian legal counsel in the June meeting: Eduardo Gonzalez, Rob Davis, Jeanne Rodriguez.
Voting against Charles Daglian: Dave Mello, Jake Stuiver, Greg Lincoln and Judy Burrell.
MSV has the exclusive video showing exactly how the vote was taken last June and by Carmelo Garcia’s own admission it failed:
The vote of the HHA board members occurs at the five minute mark. Listen to the vote and commissioner Judy Burrell’s vote over the phone. It’s clearly audible and no one questions her vote.
Commissioner Judy Burrell clearly votes “no.” The stenographer however records it as a “yes” in the minutes.
After the resolution to re-appoint Charles Daglian fails 4-3, Carmelo Garcia can be heard saying in admission to the resolution’s failure, “Therefore, what will happen now, we will go out for RFP on this process.”
Meaning the resolution failed and the HUD mandated RFP process must be followed with a new bidding process.
The June HHA minutes also point to the fact Carmelo Garcia himself admits Charles Daglian
was not reappointed by the HHA commissioners.
Even while prevailing 4-3 in the vote, Jake Stuiver nevertheless called the vote illegal.
Talking Ed Note: There’s numerous illicit actions involved here beginning with the invalid vote taken in the June HHA meeting. HUD on review surely can not accept a bid awarded with no bid process. As Jake Stuiver interjected after the vote (his side prevailed anyway), the vote in and of itself was illegal.
Garcia is guilty of attempted fraud to subvert a democratic vote. It appears another person he mentions in the Hudson County TV video, Barbara Reyes may be in on Garcia’s political operation as she vehemently complained the commissioners had not read their “upside down” minutes. Beth Mason has stated she will be sponsoring a resolution seeking a third vote to see her seated on the HHA.
Carmelo Garcia is invited to submit a written explanation for his actions. He was contacted for this story but is away until July 24th.
This is a serious offense and needs to be objected to by each HHA commissioner and concerned Hoboken resident. All of the HHA commissioners were party to the previous vote and none of them other than HHA ED Garcia is on the record claiming Burrell’s original vote was a “yes” vote requiring further review by an outside counsel after the staged vote on the minutes.
Garcia’s insubordination to the clear will of the HHA commissioners is already problematic on the HHA counsel contract; but quite literally stealing the vote of a commissioner is tantamount to the most outrageous voter fraud.
The abuse of power by Carmelo Garcia undermining a legal vote is completely unacceptable and is grounds for termination by the HHA commissioners.