Lunch with Stan

So, the long-anticipated media coverage of HHA Director Carmelo Garcia's taping hit this week's  Hoboken Reporter with Garcia's scene-stealing lawsuit arriving just in time for the print edition.

I mean, why shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater when you can yell, "I've got Ebola, my eyes are oozing down my cheeks and I just sneezed!"

After all, there is nothing like a charge of "ethnic cleansing" to clear a room or trump an effort to entrap the husband of Mayor Dawn Zimmer into contract steering for a new HHA attorney.

GA was told by sources that a portion of that conversation was missing from the transcript, in it  Grossbard warns Carmelo to be very careful because what he is suggesting is "illegal".  According to the source, the other lunch attendee, Bernie Kenny had excused himself to the bathroom so there was no witness to that exchange. With a redacted transcript, that exchange is 'he said-he said'.  

However, reporter Dean DeChiaro obtained the transcript, and while he stops short of any conclusion, but notes Garcia "all but offering the job to one lawyer- Joe Garcia..."  while Grossbard repeatedly responds to "advertise widely".
In the transcript, Grossbard suggests posting multiple advertisements for a new counsel on statewide municipal service websites, and counsels Garcia as to why he thinks it's important that both Garcia and the board trust a new attorney.

“I think I probably said the same thing in a million different ways,” said Grossbard in an interview last week. “I kept saying that a board needs to believe that when a lawyer gives them legal advice, that they’re not getting the board’s answer or Carmelo’s answer, but the correct answer.”
According to the transcript, Garcia then all but offers the job to one lawyer – Joe Garcia of the firm Chasan, Leyner & Lamparello – but Grossbard again advises him to advertise more widely. It is unclear why Garcia named that particular lawyer, though his firm signed contracts with City Hall in 2010 and 2011 worth upwards of $200,000.
Further, DeChiaro tells conclusively that Garcia initiated the lunch meeting.  Grossbard brought Kenny, a longtime mentor to Carmelo, with him.
Grossbard said that he thought being asked to lunch by Garcia was unusual.

“It was extremely unusual,” he said. “Carmelo just said, ‘We’ve never had lunch before, we should have lunch and get to know each other a little bit better,’ and I said sure. He didn’t tell me what the reason for the lunch was, and I didn’t ask.’”

 The January lunch meeting took place among Grossbard, Garcia, and former state Sen. Bernard Kenny, whom Grossbard asked to bring along after Garcia invited Grossbard to lunch.

Kenny is an acquaintance of both men who acted as an intermediary third party. His law firm, Florio & Kenny, is under contract with Zimmer’s administration and he has given Zimmer political donations for the current election, but he is also a longtime acquaintance of Garcia.

The lunch took place on Jan. 16, at Jack Dempsey’s Restaurant and Bar in Manhattan, not far from Grossbard’s office. Despite nothing
overtly illegal taking place, the lunch shows the interesting dynamic between Garcia, clearly desperate to improve his own working conditions, and Grossbard, who refuses to take a strong stand in replying to Garcia’s prodding about Housing Authority affairs.
You get it, people?

Garcia invites Grossbard to lunch wearing a wire, and tries repeatedly to discuss the hiring of a particular attorney, Joe Garcia, with a more nuanced discussion of "how to call off the dogs" at the HHA- of course playing into that well-worn, idiotic 'Stawn' narrative that Grossbard negotiates on behalf of the mayor (he doesn't).

Again, Garcia wears a wire to capture every word. Why?

Some might say the tape would be used as 'leverage' (blackmail) to get the mayor to "call off the dogs" Zayas said that Garcia recorded the meeting in an effort to gain proof of Grossbard’s alleged role as Zimmer’s de facto political proxy, and to provide evidence for the lawsuit against Grossbard and Zimmer, which has apparently been planned for several months.

We said- he said.

What was happening in January that might have prompted Garcia to call this meeting?

GA thinks that is the key to why the meeting was arranged and why it was taped.  The lunch took place on Wednesday, January 16, 2013.

Six days earlier, on Thursday, January 10, 2013...

....around noon, a resolution to hire a deputy executive director was added to that night's HHA meeting agenda. 

GA had heard through sources back then that this had upset Garcia very much. He might have felt this deputy would be groomed as his replacement, rather than another pair of hands to share the massive task of HHA management.  If so, he must have been frantic to "call off the dogs."

It's speculation, but this may explain the timing and taping of that lunch with Stan.
On Thursday night, the board of commissioners was scheduled to vote on the position. The resolution was added around noon on Thursday.

The deputy executive director — which essentially would be the number two — would be in charge when Carmelo Garcia, the current Executive Director of the HHA, is out of town or otherwise unavailable. The deputy would be hired as a consultant, rather than a full time employee.

Garcia said he was "suprised" by the proposal to hire a deputy on a consulting basis and called it "unfair and unjust."

"I don't need one," Garcia said. "I was surprised."


  1. Nobody would even consider hiring an assistant executive director if they were happy with the performance of the executive director. Perhaps he should stop screwing around and focus on running the HHA instead of everything but that? The trips, the politics, the gamesmanship, the 20 attempts to hire his designated attorney & the 20/20 plan that he to this day refuses to divulge but spends enormous amounts of energy trying to ram down our throats all keep him from spending his time working on the nuts and bolts day to day work at the HHA.

  2. the same joe garcia who was 2 be cammarano's chief of staff?

    1. That's correct.

    2. Carmelo is an idiot on so many levels.
      1. No reformer wants someone so closely aligned w/ Cammarano involved w/ the HHA so why would he even suggest it?
      2. Did he bother to check w/ the attorney he indirectly roped into this scandal if dropping his name like that was even welcome? If I were Joe, I'd be pretty pissed right now at Carmelo.
      3. Does Carmelo know how upset everyone he may or may not have taped might be with him now that his activities are public? It doesn't matter if he says he taped nobody but Stan or not b/c I doubt anyone believes a word Carmelo says at this point.
      4. And why doesn't he just stop playing games and release the plan? Is it really that bad that this sort of thuggery is the only way in hell he has a chance of getting it past?

    3. Joe Garcia son of an old Hoboken family tried to get support to run for the 4th Ward City Council.

    4. Cammarano AdmnistrationAugust 19, 2013 at 9:21 AM

      Joe Garcia was not "to be" in the Cammarano Administration - he was in it.
      Joe was Cammarano's Chief of Staff at 125K.

      He was also the first to jump ship and resign.

  3. Stan's comments make a lot of sense since he is an attorney-at-law and a member of the NY Bar.

  4. after reading up on this lawsuit, it becomes clear that garcia and his lackey ruben ramos have nothing to gain and A GREAT DEAL to lose here. point me to anywhere in this discussion where stan says anything even remotely related o what garcia is accusing him of?

    and make no mistake, whether he likes it or not, ramos is now playing second fiddle to garcia, who is in control and calling the shots, as nutty as those shots might be. maybe castellano is right, ruben doesn't have what it takes to be in charge of anything.

  5. Castellano is playing her cards for the political future of her son, but may have out-smarted herself. At this point it appears that Stack is cornered with C. Garcia and may have been secretly recorded as well. Even the best laid plans...LOL

    1. Her son has no future. Hell, the guy can't even file a simple BOE campaign filing on time.

    2. But he can manage a campaign that features a Nazi Truck.

  6. and Bernie [Kenny] too! His firm is always in the mix for contracts and they supported the Fulop team. He is a seasoned pro.

    1. Sources report Kenny is livid at Carmelo, feels he was made a fool of and will neither forgive nor forget this betrayal.

      I'm told Kenny has had a long relationship as a mentor and friend to Garcia, has extended himself for him, helped him in his career. And so this act of deceit has outraged him.

      I hear the former State Senator is done with Carmelo. Stay tuned.

    2. Will surely stay the way, Garcia may have used his city hall office to peddle his mortgages as well.

  7. Fools tape and get taped. Anthony Russo was taped - Peter Cammarano as well - Fools also leave a computer trail - the city hall email theft caper is not over. Remember, it took nearly 10 years to get Mayor Russo. All we need is time!

    1. The Feds can't touch Carmelo. He's the champion of Hoboken minorities or is he the king of "Viva Applied" bouncing Hispanics out?

  8. Carmelo Garcia with this stunt has effectively signed his own dismissal papers from the HHA.

  9. This man has lost his honor with this evil deed. No one will ever trust or believe him again. As Martin Luther King said - "To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it."

    1. To lose something implies at some point you had it to begin with.


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