Hot Mess

Lucky penny flipped the HHA Board majority away from Garcia-loyalists in 2012

Before reading on, keep this in mind: (1) The "Hoboken Housing Autority Employee Handbook" was drafted by Executive Director Carmelo Garcia in February 2012 and (2) The Garcia-voting bloc APPROVED Garcia's "HHA Employee Handbook. They were Commissioners Marianne Camporeale, Eduardo Gonzalez, Rob Davis III, and Jean Rodriquez. 

Reform took the majority in June 2012, when Commissioner Camporeale got the boot and Greg Lincoln was appointed in her place.  But, that was too late for the employees of the HHA who were subject to Garcia policies such as the following:
"HHA Employee Handbook"- page 7
Typhoid Mary, anyone?

Those afflicted with Ebola look fine before their internal organs liquify.

Why is a Housing Authority "encouraging" employees with contagious diseases to work? Shouldn't a doctor make that decision?

"HHA Employee Handbook"- page 5

"Interactive dialogue" is all it takes for the Executive Director to "identify" reasonable accommodations for handicapped and disabled employees?  And to make "all decisions" for them?  Okay... 

I guess that makes the Executive Director the prevailing authority over the Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines.

What's an "interactive dialogue?"  Dialogue with puppets?

"HHA Employee Handbook"- page 31

Um, "discharge?"

An employee unable to work overtime for any reason, threatened with "discharge?" That's one way for management to retaliate against an employee: give him/her an unpleasant "overtime directive."

This one is the show-stopper:
"HHA Employee Handbook"- page 2

Um... is that legal?

I dunno, it sounds so Banana-Republic-y.

Well, good news. GA hears that a new Employee Manual is in the works.  Whew.

You know, I am not versed in employment law- or any kind of law... but I have looked at other Housing Authority Employee handbooks for comparison (links via Google.)  Generally speaking, all (except for Hoboken's) are organized like a federal/municipal code booklet- table of contents, numbered sections, sub-sections- like this  Harris County Housing Authority Employee Handbook.  

Compared to the other Housing Authority Employee Handbooks GA accessed online, Hoboken's is a hot mess.

A disorganized cut-and-paste job that delivers its message: the Executive Director makes the rules, changes the rules, can change your wages without having to consult anyone or without anyone's agreement, with or without cause. 

Take a look.   


  1. Apparently Carmelo Garcia has no need to follow anyone's rule even his own because he considers himself special and above them..

  2. Question: I understand the Judge has said that some of the emails can not be used in this legal case but can the emails be made public either now or after the case has concluded ?

    1. Not the emails that are privileged. No.

      The others, yes.

  3. This idiot was on the Hoboken Board of Education for 9 years. This the kind of garbage that had to be cleaned up after reform took the majority.

  4. Page 18- check out his "resignation in good standing" policy- at the sole discretion of the ED. He can fire anyone "at will" with or without good cause anytime, but if you don't give two weeks notice, resign orally or the ED makes any arbitrary determination that the employee is not in "good standing" the ED takes away your vacation and sick credits.

  5. Garcia's employee policies are the best rebuttal I can think of to his claims he was fired for improper reasons. No, he was fired because of shit like this, because of incompetence and abusive practices. These rules are more despot than director. I heard the rumors, but it's another thing to see it in writing.

    1. Carmelo was feared. Everyone knew they served at his whim. then of course he had enforcers.

  6. I would be very disappointed if they haven't shit-canned that quasi-fascist document and begun a new one that reflects modern mutually respectful, checked-and-balanced relationships in organizations. You could replace "Executive Director" with il Duce without disrupting the context.

  7. How did he get away with this for years? I mean, really, no one appealed to a higher authority? Who is working at the HHA and why don't they know they don't have to take this?? Carmelo is a real piece of work, and that's about the nicest thing I can say about him.

  8. Rumor has it, that while serving on the school board, he had a city hall job, but ran a mortgage brokerage business from his office there, at the same time that he went to school full time at Stevens, all the while we were paying him. Not sure what that says about Stevens if an idiot like Garcia can get a degree. Anyone know if these things are true?

  9. Garcia got his Double Masters degree in Management and Information Systems from Stevens in 2004. It's a 2 year full-time program which means he attended grad school from 2002-2004.

    Director of Health and Human Services
    City of Hoboken
    July 2001 – August 2007 (6 years 2 months)

    Legislative aide
    County of Hudson
    December 1999 – January 2011 (11 years 2 months)

    Trustee, past president
    Hoboken board of education
    April 2002 – December 2013 (11 years 9 months)

    Oh, and he also has this whopper: claims he was HHA Director for 7 years (since 2007) when he was appointed from a deputy position in 2009:

    Executive Director
    Housing Authority of the City of Hoboken, NJ
    August 2007 – August 2014 (7 years 1 month)

    1. He is very good at multi-tasking. So is Mikie Russo. Per his council website, he received his doctorate of physical therapy from Utica College in 2013. Last I checked, Utica is a 5 hour drive from Hoboken. How could he be a resident of Hoboken and get that degree? Unless, of course, he took the online version. What I've always wanted: A "doctor" of physical therapy who only had to study via online course. He might as well have received the degree from the U of Phoenix.


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