Questions swirling around Carmelo Garcia hits the big lights

Yesterday News 12 uncorked a little story putting Hoboken back in the corruption spotlight again featuring a report on the troubling pay to play no bid contracts HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia directed without authorization under federal procurement laws while taking thousands of dollars from several HHA vendors.

HHA ED Carmelo Garcia confers with ally Councilwoman Beth Mason before a recent HHA meeting. Yesterday News 12 spent some time conferring with the public about the emerging pay to play controversy one of many exploding in the HHA. State Senator Brian Stack must be observing with keen interest. The rest of Hoboken is watching with bated breath.

From the report:

HOBOKEN – The executive director of the Hoboken Housing Authority gave out more than $2 million in no-bid contracts to three companies who then donated thousands of dollars to his campaign for the state Legislature…

But state election reports show three of the companies who received those emergency contracts; Hauser Brothers, Haddad Electric and A.M. Construction, then donated money to Garcia’s campaign for the New Jersey Assembly. That has some members of the housing board questioning whether there was a quid pro quo…

“There are a lot of electricians in Hudson County,” says Hoboken Housing Chairwoman Dana Wefer. “There’s a lot of boiler maintenance companies and a lot of construction companies. We don’t need to be going to the ones that contributed money to the executive director-assemblyman’s campaign.”

The complete News 12 story with video is available here.

Talking Ed Note: Sometimes what follows the big lights is the big time. Look at me ma, I’m a star.

Related: The MSV breaking story back in May that brought to light payments to Carmelo Garcia by HHA vendors who were paid millions from the agency with no bid contracts.

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