HHA special meeting passes resolution 5-2 to appoint special counsel


In a filled standing room only meeting of mostly Hoboken Housing Authority members backing embattled controversial HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia, the Board of Commissioners approved a resolution to appoint a special counsel to review the procurement issues uncovered in recent months 5-2.

Garcia would attempt to interject during the commissioners discussion his legal objections prior to the vote and eventually HHA legal counsel Charles Daglian would state his opinion the procurement process to hire a special legal counsel was not appropriate as it wasn’t “an emergency.”

After the vote among those who would speak in public portion were Garcia Assembly aide Patricia Waiters, HHA activist Jessica Coco, Freeholder Anthony “Stick” Romano, Councilwoman Beth Mason and Michele Russo.

The resolution was challenged almost immediately by Garcia after passage with complaints by Mason the meeting was not adequately noticed seven days. Standing next to Da Horsey in the standing room only room, Mason would clearly demonstrate her opposition to the action in the resolution mouthing disagreement throughout.

Garcia’s comments made it clear he will do whatever is possible to circumvent and challenge the vote and prevent an independent legal counsel to investigate actions taken under his direction within the HHA.

As he did to the commissioners originally on a legal counsel contract in early 2013, Garcia said the vote would lead to the individual commissioners being individually liable and referred to the last surviving vestige of his lawsuit against the HHA not thrown out of Hudson County Superior Court on the first pass.

The previous “ethnic cleansing” lawsuit was already thrown out and five of the six allegations in Garcia’s amended lawsuit have already met the same fate.

Here’s the complete unedited remarks of Carmelo Garcia. He outlines his actions by referring to the New Testament and then goes on to make a political attack on the mayor saying he is a victim (in line with his lawsuit).

The five dozen residents of the HHA, some who clearly did not understand the resolution at hand ate up the “religious” revival meeting in Garcia’s remarks. Well Jessica Coco sitting in the front row clearly wasn’t buying it.

Commissioners voting in favor of the resolution to appoint a special counsel: Judy Burrell, David Dening, James Sanford, Dave Mello and Chair Dana Wefer.

Commissioners voting against: Jeanne Rodridguez, Rob Davis.

Talking Ed Note: Last I looked both the Old and New Testament upheld commandment no. 7 – “Thou shall not steal.”

It certainly was a fascinating performance seeing Mr. Garcia making claims about the procurement policy not being followed in the appointment of a special counsel. (The special counsel will be charged with reviewing millions of dollars in procurement unilaterally approved by Garcia if the allegations on that issue come to light and prove out.)

Garcia didn’t say anything about the thousands of dollars he’s taken from current HHA vendors.

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