What a Week- Part 1: Monday

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.   

The saga of Ian Sacs spoke loud and clear that Hoboken police could be mobilized to make politically-motivated, bogus arrests on Reformers.  Just hours after his arrest, Sacs was sandbagged by pro-Mason cyber-sewer Hoboken411 who had magically obtained Sacs' newly minted police report.

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.


  1. I am so sorry Nancy. you've really been through a lot.

  2. if the cops believed there was a threat then why were they dicking around with city hall? you should have sued.

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  4. I always considered the police action related to the overtly silly FBI Letter 4 piece to be one of the absolute low points of Hoboken politics along with Occhipinti's 575 workers and Correa's quarters. It meant that cops would happily go after and seek to intimidate the citizenry on the flimsiest possible pretext on behalf of the well-financed enemies of free speech.

    Reform overlooked it for the most part, reminding me that, sorry to say, I would never want to entrust my safety and well-being to these folks. When push comes to shove, they always seem to take the tack of wondering how much the behavior of the other sonofabitch is reform's fault and what reform needs to do to help the sonofabitch stop being a sonofabitch.

    Think of it - police acting to terrorize a private citizen in her own home in front of a child as a political favor to enemies of the administration, ie, friends of machine-style politics. That's the kind of story you'd expect from the annals of a banana republic. If you want proof that it was a complete rogue cop action, just try to find a police report.

    If Ferrante represents change, he will recognize what an utter disgrace this whole episode was and tell his police force in no uncertain terms that nothing of the kind will happen on his watch or the culprits will be punished to the fullest extent possible.

    Do I think that will happen? Sadly, I don't. Prove me wrong.

  5. I recall your writing about the incident previously but reading that full account now is shocking. Despicable behavior. The fact that you continue to fight the corrupt powers in town is amazing and extreme brave. Your daughter should be proud to have a mom with the morals and guts to stand up for what's right.

  6. Hoboken has needed a civilian complaint review board for a long time. If the HPD is ever going to be trusted again by those of us who have had bad dealings with them, perhaps Ferrante can work with the City to create this long overdue organization.


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