Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Why didn't Richard Mason open his door on 9/15?


A person with nothing to hide has nothing to fear.  My non-actionable opinion: calling the police on Horsey instead of opening his front door to accept trial subpoenas, was designed to discourage and intimidate Brice from trying to serve either Mason again.   The message: try to serve us again and we will sic the police on you.

Sure enough, they did.

SLAPP II: (more) legal costs for Brice
Horsey, undaunted by threats, successfully served both Masons in accordance with NJ Court rules.   In recognition that both trial subpoenas being properly served and enforceable by the Court, the Masons' attorneys filed motions to quash them.

The question to ask is: why didn't Richard Mason simply open his door, accept the trial subpoenas on September 15?    

What did Richard Mason believe Defendants might ask him under oath  that prevented him from accepting service of trial subpoenas on 9/15?

GA has no idea. 

But discovery has revealed thousands of emails between Richard Mason and Plaintiffs Lane and Kim Cardinal Bajardi, James Barracato.   Mr. Mason's emails with these parties were sent/received on the mail servers of his employer, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz LLP. 

Table 1- Def. Pincus' Brief in Support of Opposition to Notice of Short Motion for an Order to Quash Defendant’s Trial Subpoena to Non-Party Ricky Mason- filed October 8, 2014:

A reasonable person reading these emails could believe that Richard Mason was involved with his wife's political career to the extent that he served to advise and consult her political operatives. 

A reasonable person reading these emails could believe Richard Mason, whose expertise as a bankruptcy partner at Wachtell, Lipton Rosen and Katz, was a resource for information by his wife's political team.

One topic of email communications with Mr. Mason was the sale of Hoboken's only hospital to the single viable bidder, HoldCo.   His wife, Beth Mason publicly, vigorously opposed the sale, even launching a full-blown media campaign (cable tv ad buys) to turn the public against the sale-- and against the mayor.  Mason's political operatives worked furiously behind-the-scenes to support her efforts to kill the sale.  

In spite of their efforts, the hospital sale closed on November 4, 2011.   The emails contain some shocking surprises, that are a matter of public concern.

On October 9, 2011 James Barracato had bragged he was "getting 60,000 emails" that Mayor Dawn Zimmer/Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority "exchanged with the buyer." 

Richard Mason was NOT on this email
We learn from another email that Barracato handed the 60,000 emails on disk to a reporter at the Malibu Diner.  Team Mason launched punishing attacks on the reputation of Toni Tomarrazo, the HMHA and the hospital sale process, replete with uncannily obtained "insider information" on  Hoboken411.   Emails show the smears were ghostwritten by Lane "not a political operative" Bajardi

One example: on Tuesday March 1, 2011 Lane "not an operative" Bajardi emails Hoboken411 his ghostwritten article titled: "Hoboken411 Exclusive: HUMC quietly marketed for $90 million sale/leaseback even before Hospital Authority closes deal to sell!"  

Curiously,  Bajardi's article   repeatedly cites his source is "the weekly paper."  Translation: The Hoboken Reporter was laundering leaks on the hospital sale for Team Mason so Hoboken411 could write the "down and dirty". 


How did "credentialed journalist" Lane Bajardi know that "other bidders were chafing at the backroom dealings of the Dawn Zimmer aligned majority on the HMHA board?"  

Was Mr. Bajardi talking directly to other bidders during the hospital sale?  

Was he talking directly to creditors?  

Was Bajardi's source the same who provided Beth Mason's "business partner" the "60,000 emails" between Zimmer/HMHA and the hospital BUYER?    


Questions without answers.  Emails show it is indisputable that confidential emails during the hospital sale were leaked to unauthorized parties and insider information was finding its way to the press. 

More than one party might know the answers, if questioned under oath.  GA has asked the City to investigate the breech of security during the sale of a public asset.  The public needs answers.

A person with nothing to hide has nothing to fear.  

Horsey, target of the Masons' 9/15 and 9/17 police complaints, was instrumental in covering Beth Mason's opposition to the hospital sale.  

On March 3, 2011 James Barracato sends Richard Mason and Lane "not an operative" Bajardi an email called "More hospital stuff."



At 2:12 PM on March 4, 2011, James Barracato emails Lane Bajardi, Kim Cardinal, Sara Stojkovic and Richard G. Mason an internet comment posted by a critic of Beth Mason and her opposition to the hospital sale.




In fact, the testimony sought from witness Ricky Mason was not about him, or what he knew when he knew it.  
Defendants sought Richard Mason's testimony to prove the truth of allegedly-defamatory statements, described in the following true and correct excerpt from my Opposition to Notice of Short Motion for an Order to Quash Defendant’s Trial Subpoena to Non-Party Ricky Mason: [emphasis mine]
"Emails show Plaintiff Lane Bajardi and his wife have been contacting Mr. Mason since at least 2007 to ply him with tales of “threats” and “violence” to them and their child, perpetrated by a revolving cast of Reform bloggers. The Bajardis’ familiar routine is to invoke “threats” of “violence” and “harassment” to the wealthy Mr. Mason prior to asking for “help” to sue the alleged offenders- all political bloggers. For example, on December 18, 2007, Mrs. Bajardi emails Mr. Mason writing, “Lenz is now posting using my name and smearing me on nj.com. This really has gone on long enough. I want to speak to a lawyer.” [N.P. MSJ- Exhibit 2, BAJARDI_00026920]. Mr. Mason responds:
I don't have familiarity with good attorneys for defamation cases. If you would like, I can circulate a request around my firm, on a no-names basis, and see what I get. Let me know.
Mrs. Bajardi ramps up the rhetoric in her reply to Mr. Mason; she is now “threatened” by Mr. Lenz:
 “… I really need to do something at this point. Lenz is attacking me on line and he charged at me at the council meeting last Thursday, got an inch from my face and threatened me. He's out of control. Frankly, it is starting to get a bit scary. “
Mr. Mason responds with the names of three attorneys:
“Ok, here is what I have. Three names… Hope this all helps.”
On October 20, 2010, Plaintiff Lane Bajardi asks Mr. and Mrs. Mason for “help” [N.P. MSJ- Exhibit 2, BAJARDI_00019066] to sue Roman Brice: “I need a lawyer who knows how to deal with this. Not a Hudson County hack, but a real lawyer who will get the job done…”

On March 13, 2010 Lane Bajardi writes to Mr. and Mrs. Mason, about “hiring a reputable attorney” to “send a message” to bloggers Kurt Gardiner and Roman Brice for “continuously attacking” him, such as calling him a “looney leprechaun” [N.P. MSJ- Exhibit 2, BAJARDI_00037078]:
“The time has come to hire a reputable attorney who has experience in these matters to begin to file suit against these people. The people attacking us count on the fact that legal action is time consuming and expensive, so they continue their slanderous attacks with a vengeance… If I am to continue to be involved here I need legal assistance. The line has been crossed many times, and it's time to seek damages and send a message that this activity should not be condoned. Any assistance you and Ricky can give me in this matter would be welcome and appreciated.”
In 2007 Mr. Mason provided the Bajardi with attorneys’ names; clearly the “assistance” Mr. Bajardi wants from the wealthy Masons is financial. On April 11, 2011, Ricky Mason is copied on Lane Bajardi’s email to political operative James Barracato. The subject line: “RudyDawg aka D**** ****** advocating violence against me.” [N.P. MSJ- Exhibit 2, BAJARDI_00043493]. Mr. Bajardi writes [emphasis is Plaintiff’s]: Please forward this to Catherine. She is advocating people attack me physically at the next City Council meeting on NJ.com. I can't let this stand without a response. Should I file a harassment charge against her?

 Any reasonable reading of the above ‘rudydawg’ post does not show Ms. ******* “advocating violence” of any sort to Mr. Bajardi. The pattern of Plaintiff’s email communications to Mr. Mason, show Lane Bajardi is a man in search of Ricky Mason’s cash to sue political enemies to “punish” or silence them. In Ms. *******’s case, Bajardi feigns “threats of violence” to silence free speech. Mr. Mason’s testimony about Mr. Bajardi’s years-long campaign for cash to sue political enemies while Mr. Bajardi is concurrently engaged in political work with Mr. Mason is the context within which “assistance” can be seen as “compensation” to Lane Bajardi for his political work. 


As Lane Bajardi wrote Ricky Mason on April 6, 2009:
“Ricky, you are not preaching to the converted. You are preaching to the devoted. We are devoted to the cause…” [N.P. MSJ- Exhibit 2, BAJARDI_00032987.htm] 
One year later, on March 13, 2010, Mr. Bajardi writes Mr. Mason,
 “…If I am to continue to be involved here I need legal assistance.”
That “legal assistance” came in March 2012.

On March 4, 2012 by Lane Bajardi emailed Beth and Ricky Mason [N.P. MSJ- Exhibit 2, BAJARDI_00010862.htm]:

Thanks for meeting with me last week. It was good to see you…

I don't need a million dollar attorney who needs $20k to write a letter, but I do need help to take action before one of these crazies really loses control. The time to take legal action is long overdue. History shows us lies left unchallenged become perceived truth, and repeated public threats left unchallenged become violence. I cannot let that happen.
Plaintiff Lane Bajardi’s Verizon Wireless records show calls to Mr. Mason at law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz on March 15, 16, and then on March 23 (Plaintiff’s phone records show these were the only calls made to Mr. Mason’s office in 2012).
Then on March 27, 2012, Lane Bajardi emails Mason operative James Barracato [N.P. MSJ- Exhibit 2, BAJARDI_00046572] On Mar 27, 2012 9:42 AM, "Lane Bajardi" wrote:
 “Hey. Been trying to reach you. Ricky wants me to get info from you but you aren't returning messages. I hope everything is OK. – L”

Barracato replies: “Hey sorry just been crazy with school. I will call you later today. Hope these Republican primaries are keeping the newsroom busy.” 
Ricky Mason’s testimony about Plaintiff’s years of lobbying for lawsuit money, Mr. Mason’s ‘deal’ with Mr. Bajardi, followed by Mr. Mason directing Lane Bajardi to “get info” from political operative, James Barracato is not “duplicative” or “non-relevant.” Emails show the Bajardis have been shaking the tin cup at the Masons for years. Emails suggest in 2012 Mr. Mason relented... Mr. Bajardi and his unemployed wife cannot afford this six-figure litigation . Mr. Mason’s considerable wealth is the engine driving this SLAPP. That is clear in the February 8, 2012 email where Lane Bajardi assembles this litigation with Mrs. Mason’s political operative James Barracato [N.P. MSJ- Exhibit 2, BAJARDI_00046239.htm]. Bajardi writes: 
 Please see attached and tell me what you think… I focused on Pincus' Blog over the past year and her most recent Patch posts. Let me know if this is an acceptable format, and if I need to add or subtract anything.… I realize going with an attorney who Ricky and Beth are comfortable with is key.
Mr. Mason pays for Mr. Barracato’s services. Mr. Barracato assembled this lawsuit with Lane Bajardi. Mr. Mason’s testimony on the “assistance” he’s provided to Mr. Bajardi is “relevant” to our defense..."
Those were matters relevant to Defendants in Bajardi v Pincus.   

GA has no idea why the Masons did not accept service of their trial subpoenas on the night of 9/15/2014, choosing to call the police instead. 

A person with nothing to hide has nothing to fear. 


GA NOTE:  My heartfelt condolences to Horsey on the loss of his beloved Mom, Nadia Brice.  Her wake is today 2-5 PM and 7-9 PM at Thomas M. Quinn & Sons at 32-50 Broadway in Long Island City, NY.  Click here for driving directions.

21 comments:

  1. Everyone with first hand knowledge won't speak about it. There is a story.

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  2. Great investigative reporting as always!!!!

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  3. It disgusts me how the Masons use their wealth to play with the City of Hoboken, like its a toy in their toy box. Why the hell do our police continue to take their bullshit complaints?

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    1. It's believed that the Masons have donated things to the police department, which should be illegal because of the potential for special treatment. Perhaps because of those gifts, and maybe for other reasons, the Hoboken police seemed to behave on occasion as a private security detail to the Masons. For example, when the special meeting was called for the hospital vote, Beth was escorted into city hall by Hoboken's "finest", a service afforded no other council member. Of course, no other council member was being jeered at and called a "fucking bitch" by her former friends and neighbors. H8411 and the Masons have been very cozy with our police force. Perhaps under the new chief, that will be different. But I'm not kidding myself.

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  4. Really well written & good evidence. I read this article & was disgusted by their antics once again.

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  5. IMO Mason called the cops to shut Horsey up and impoverish him. The ACLU may come in for him, at trial especially when they hear about the first SLAPP. They've gone too too far. I am personally disgusted they pulled this shit when his mom was dying.

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  6. Really saddened and disgusted with the behavior of the Masons. I wish they would leave Hoboken alone (and leave Hoboken, period).

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  7. Before all these emails became public, a 2nd Ward resident told me that he thought Beth Mason was bat sh*t crazy but Ricky Mason seemed OK. I wonder what that resident.thinks now.

    I also find it strange that Richard G, Mason would use his Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz , email account to conduct these sort of conversations.

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    1. I think everyone has realized for awhile that Ricky is the enabler. His motivations are no doubt complicated and he's probably as crazy as Beth is, but without his salary, none of the problems they caused in Hoboken would exist.

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  8. I recall one of the HUMC volunteer commissioners telling people Ricky Mason had a lawyer friend of his ( from Wachtell) attend the court hearings on the sale as well as the hearings when Appleseed / and Rene Steinhagen tried to squash the sale throwing Hoboken into Bankruptcy.

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    1. Appleseed / Rene Steinhagen - reputation totally trashed by her associations with Mason.

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  9. Hoboken cops are NOT Beth and Ricky Mason's private police force. It is morally and ethically repugnant that the Masons keep filing bogus complaints against Roman and our police keep taking them. Mason was OFFENDED and ALARMED by getting subpoenaed? What a shame. They wrote that up. Why didn't the police tell Beth Mason to shove off!!!!!

    Chief Ferrante, STOP Beth and Ricky Mason from using our cops as their private police force to harass citizens!!!

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    1. As Horsey explained to you a few days ago, Chief Ferrante has nothing to do with any of this - and any citizen can file a disorderly persons complaint with the Court as Mrs. Mason and her friends have repeatedly done.

      Why are you repeatedly trying in unfairly impugn Chief Ferrante's reputation? Perhaps you have some kind of personal beef with him but using GA's site to try to damage his reputation is a pretty small thing to do.

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    2. just want to point out that "I" was anon days ago who made a statement about the more things change the more it appears they stay the same re Chief Ferrante - the above anon has similar sentiments. It's Hob after all u can't blame the residents for feeling this way.

      Yes, Horsey did make a statement about the Chief cooperation and while it is appreciated it remains to be seen.

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  10. The legal system can be abused if you are morally bankrupt.

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  11. When your parents have some notoriety it's only natural for the kids to google their names. Wonder if the Mason kids ever have.

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  12. My client already updated her website to clarify her role in the community so I fail to see the need for this continued reference to this other person.

    And in case anyone wasn't paying attention, she doesn't even need that guy's money because she was such a success in business on her own: "I was successful enough in my business career to have the ability to help my community as a member of city council and through civic activities. In fact, it was this success that made it possible to launch the Mason Civic League."

    See that? Completely supported herself. Never needed a nickel from this guy. Bought that house and that hotel and that councilman and all those votes with her own savings from her fabulously successful career. Some sort of high-end rodent autopsy operation I believe. Doesn't matter. The way it looks to me, he's riding her coat-tails.

    He probably needs a good attorney. You know where to find me....

    JayZeke - Master Litigator dotcom (cash only, all sales final)

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    1. Bob Schmidt canned her in the early 90's after the firm she was working at was shutdown by Grey advertising. After Beth became head of new business, they went out of business

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  13. We really need to organize the emails into a staged reading, maybe as a fundraiser for SLAPP legal defense fund. I'd pay 25 bucks easy.

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    1. this is such a great idea, QJ201!! i am sure if would draw a crowd, bet you could raise $2,000-3,500 and hopefully generate some press coverage before and after. would need a good-sized location, maybe the elk's club? chances are the mason's would throw their weight around and try to dissuade any local business from hosting it but worth a try. count me in, i'd even volunteer to help organize.

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    2. The fundraiser is a great idea. Good people have lost serious money on this travesty.

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