HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia fails to hijack HHA Board of Commisoners agenda
Insults commissioners in middle of a roll call bizarrely interjecting to Commissioner Mello: “You’re undressing me with your eyes” before exiting meeting early due to “illness.”
Garcia fails to see resolution passed authorizing his use of Chairwoman’s signature in finance matters
Special counsel selection to investigate HHA procurement actions reaffirmed in 4-2 vote
In a grueling meeting lasting over four hours Thursday night, the battle for transparency and fiscal oversight within the Hoboken Housing Authority entered a new phase with numerous conflicts breaking out between Chairwoman Dana Wefer and her working reform majority on one side and an embattled, desperate Executive Director in the form of Carmelo Garcia attempting to keep a lid on the mounting alleged improprieties on the other.
Out of the gate, the meeting was stopped as the Chairwoman announced problems finalizing the agenda due she said to the obstinacy of the ED Carmelo Garcia. An email was later referenced, communicated to all commissioners outlining the latest insubordination Garcia said was not his fault. He laid blame on his administrative assistant. Later, when Wefer would substantiate the issue pointing to emails communicated to the board, Garcia would interject calling Chairwoman’s statement on the matter “a lie.”
Upon the full agenda’s introduction and a 4-2 voted approval, a recess was authorized to make photocopies available for the public.
Beth Mason arriving right before the HHA meeting, reviews papers with Carmelo Garcia. She’s not seeking transparency in the agency, she’s attempting to aid in blocking revelations of massive improprieties. At the previous HHA special meeting she concluded incorrectly the proceedings did not meet state requirements but the vote for a special legal counsel to investigate passed easily in a 5-2 vote.
That was only the beginning of an emerging picture where Garcia’s overseers on the HHA Board of Commissioners would conflict with him and his stacked room of backers looking to undermine their oversight.
Back to the confines of a HHA building, the Carmelitos restarted their practice of interrupting, at times dangerously encroaching on the commissioner’s dais and screaming out against policies thought problematic for Garcia. Late in the meeting a resolution with an option to hold more meetings in the council chambers passed 4-2. It’s unclear what the resolution would mean in future HHA meetings.
Later on a different roll call vote, the meeting secretary Garcia would stop calling the vote to voice an attack on commissioner Dave Mello. In the middle of the vote, he stopped looking at Mello complaining of him staring saying, “You’re undressing me with your eyes,” to the gleeful approval of the Carmelitos in attendance.
On the special counsel resolution, Chairwoman Dana Wefer outlined additional steps taken with multiple bids she gathered explaining that Garcia was conflicted from participating. Garcia would interject claiming that HUD did not approve of the vote on the resolution. He had complained about the previous resolution passed at the HHA special meeting now under legal review.
No one was swayed by Garcia’s claim and it passed as many votes during the evening 4-2. Commissioner Judy Burrell was unavailable due to a scheduling conflict.
Garcia also attempted to see a resolution he crafted and put on the agenda authorizing him to use a facsimile of Chairwoman Dana Wefer’s signature in financial matters. Such a move would remove the separation of powers of the Board of Commissioners from the designated contractor ED, in this case Carmelo Garcia.
It’s unclear why such an attempt was even mustered but it along with other resolutions he presented were tabled after his departure.
Later after 10:00 pm in public portion, Old Guard council members Michael Russo and Beth Mason would speak and Michele Russo would read a statement from her cousin, first ward councilwoman Terry Castellano. Russo tried earlier to interrupt the meeting announcing he wanted the floor as he was “an elected official” but Wefer declined his request.
Beth Mason with her political operative Matt Calicchio at the HHA meeting. Coordinating an alleged victim claiming harassment while MSV was moving a chair to take notes he approached on the early recess repeatedly saying, “How’s your dead brother.”
Next: More on the four hour meeting marathon. During the meeting, as MSV moved an empty chair from the rear of the room to the front and sat three feet from the HHA Board dais, a charge of being shoved filed as “harassment” was claimed by a Hispanic woman. Working in tandem standing directly to her right, Beth Mason political operative Matt Calicchio. This with dozens of people and the HHA board in sight and a police officer standing not seven feet away.
The Hoboken police took the false allegation and a ticket is slated to be mailed in yet another court action against this editor.
An earlier 2012 harassment charge was lodged by Matt Calicchio himself, claiming he was repeatedly contacted by MSV against his will. Calicchio’s false claim he requested the alleged contact cease was thrown out of Jersey City Municipal Court.
During an early recess prior to the phony harassment claim, Calicchio came within three feet attempting to take a dozen photos on his cell phone claiming MSV was “an elected official.”
He followed repeatedly saying, “How’s your dead brother.” The SLAPP suit apparently isn’t enough for Beth Mason and her crew.