Mayor Zimmer: ‘Council whitewashed Mike Russo’s corrupt behavior’

Office of the Mayor announces:


Councilman Russo has broken the people’s trust. His removal as Chair of the Finance Committee and resignation as Vice President of the Council were appropriate, but did not go far enough to renew the people’s trust.

Instead of recognizing the seriousness of Councilman Russo’s actions, the Council majority tried to minimize the significance of the fact that the Councilman tried to generate campaign contributions in exchange for expediting development rights. 

Councilman Russo’s behavior is not the focus of attention because, as Councilman Giacchi asserted, “it is political season.” It is an issue because it was a clear betrayal of the public trust.

Councilman Russo is not guilty of simply speaking foolishly and immaturely as Councilwoman Castellano asserted. He agreed to accept a campaign contribution while promising to expedite development projects.

It was not simply “brazen” as Councilman Occhipinti and Council President Mason stated. Brazen, a word defined as “bold and without shame” does not even have an implication of wrongdoing. It was wrongdoing that goes to the essence of his obligations to the people of Hoboken.

In a transparent attempt to deflect attention, the resolution passed by the Council calls for an “investigation” implying wrongdoing by others. I am not aware of any basis whatsoever to believe anyone in Hoboken government, other than Councilman Russo and former Mayor Cammarano, has behaved in this reprehensible manner.

I call on everyone who voted for this resolution, including Council President Mason, Councilman Giacchi, Councilwoman Castellano, Councilman Occhipinti, and Councilman Russo to immediately produce factual information justifying such an investigation or to immediately issue an apology to all those who may have been defamed by their comments and their supporters. 

Thank you.

Mayor Zimmer

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