|Hoboken's handsome new Police Chief: Ken Ferrante|
Folks, its been quite a week! GA can hardly keep up, so I'll start with Monday.
The announcement that Ken Ferrante, a 21-year veteran of Hoboken's police force was chosen as Hoboken's next Chief of Police is welcome news.
For those who are politically active in Hoboken, it's no secret that the Hoboken Police Department is more than cozy with Dark Side politicians, politicos and their operatives. The politicization of the police department came to the public's attention on March 25, 2011, with the arrest of Director of Parking and Transportation, Ian Sacs.
You may recall Ian Sacs was arrested by the HPD for driving a HOP commuter bus without a commercial license; the bus had been abandoned by it's driver, left with its door open and engine idling in a crosswalk. Director Sacs, finding this threat to public safety on the way to work, drove the bus 2 blocks to a municipal lot. The judge who threw out the drek-complaint in September 2011 told Sacs in Court, "You had every right to drive that bus."
Prior to his arrest, Ian Sacs was the designated punching bag for Councilpersons Mike Russo, Beth Mason, Terry Castellano and Doof Occhipinti at the City Council. Their verbal fusillades were as brutal as they were predictable; to the casual observer these four were trying to drive Sacs out of his job. And then, the arrest.
Why, why, why target Sacs?
A Deep-Throat style source GA called Deep Uvula, emerged from Hoboken's Dark Side with the answer:
Remember that prior to Ian, the Parking Utility/Parking administration was headed by John Correa and MA $5 a Tow Russo. The easy quarters, kickbacks, cash generated by the parking meters/towing in town was a steady source of low hanging fruit for the grafting Russos.
So after the missing 4 tons of quarters scandal (Mikey head of the Finance Comm. tries his hardest to cover it up) Ian arrives on the scene.
The Russo Faction instantly feared/hated/loathed this educated pup who showed them up royally - increased collections/re routed buses, got rid of all the kickbacks and "tip" money that got special favors done. They tried to embarrass him at meetings, got their reports on his management from their City Hall "insiders" - long term employees, the types that the Russo Faction likes. So they see that their grip that they had on the easy money was getting away from them.
The decision was made that Ian had to go.
Something had to happen that would make it impossible for the Mayor to keep him on the payroll. Employees were encouraged to spy on Ian and report back any "dirt", they were encouraged to disrespect him, give him a hard time, and goad him. Bait him, like Russo/Castellano and Mason did every council meeting.
They thought that they had him with the trip to Vancouver and if they could force him to pay for the trip that he would just leave. That did not work, so... the lowest levels were encouraged to cause enough friction to create chaos in the department and hope that Ian would crack - or a situation would arise that would put Ian in a compromising situation - it is not clear that there was an actual plan to leave the bus where he would find it, but it did happen against the backdrop of what I just outlined.
Funny how the right cop was there to catch it all and then to overcharge Ian. The charges are bogus and there is no way in hell that any sane prosecutor would proceed with them. In fact, if this were any where else, the cop would get busted internally for making a bad arrest.
No one wants to leak the name of the arresting officer, which is weird.
And why was that? The arresting officer was Police Chief Falco's daughter.
And guess what?
Five months later, Beth Mason, Doof Occhipinti and a Hoboken411 ghost-writer reported GA to the police claiming to be "threatened" by a satirical blog post, Dear FBI: Letter No. 4. The Hoboken411 scribe even complained the post was "terroristic." Two detectives were dispatched to my home, bullied me for an hour and left frustrated I did not 'give' them what they came for--so they could arrest me. And yes, a media campaign followed, and a resolution to get me thrown off the ZBA. Over a piece of satire*. (*This "threat" was deemed frivolous and thrown out of the CRAPP suit.)
So folks, GA has high hopes that a Chief Ferrante will crack down on these egregious abuses.
The HPD are not the police force for a political faction, they "PROTECT and SERVE" us all. That's how it should be. That's not the way Falco ran the place. And like they say, a fish stinks from the head down. GA is hopeful Ferrante will put an end to the politicization of his department.
These are my notes about the events of August 22, 2011.