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Hoboken lawsuites - Page 1

Hoboken Lawsuits

 

 

Employee Lawsuits:

10/12/2010 
WILLIAM D. CAMPBELL vs. CITY OF HOBOKEN  Includes OPRA VIOLATIONS.

UKN DATE-2010  "Buonfiglio v. Hoboken" Docket No. HUDL-5535-09 and related local disciplinary matters;

 

UKN DATE- 2010: "Andreula v. Hoboken" Docket No. HUDL-2498-10 and Belfiore v. Hoboken, which together comprise the group of approximately 11 employees that applied to participate in the severance program offered by the City.

 

UKN DATE- 2010: "Drexel v. Hoboken" a newly filed lawsuit involving claimed OPRA violations, retaliatory actions, tortuous interference and privacy violations.

 

 

ZONING:

UKN DATE:  Brigden v. Hoboken, Docket No. HUD-L931-08/HUD-L-3325-08, a matter involving numerous zoning claims, OPRA violations and 42 U.S.C. Sect. 1983 (conspiracy).

HOBOKEN PARKING UTILITY:

City of Hoboken v. United Textiles Fabricators Corp., Docket No. HUD-L-3104-10.

POLICE DEPARTMENT:

SWAT-related litigation.

 

Municipal Garage Sale:

08/17/2010  
SHG HOBOKEN URBAN RENEWAL ASSOCIATES, LLC, vs. THE CITY OF HOBOKEN, NEW JERSEY  

HUMC sale under scrutiny, Ex-Hoboken cop launches lawsuit over blocked records request

A former police officers’ private investigation into the dealings surrounding the hospital sale has come to a screeching halt after he was barred from accessing records from a related agency.

Ex-Hoboken cop Ed Mecka filed a lawsuit in the Hudson County Superior Court last week against Hudson Healthcare, Inc., (HHI) after his request for access to the organization’s records was blocked.

According to the complaint, Mecka filed an OPRA (Open Public Records Act) request to obtain materials from a July HHI Board of Directors meeting, including a list of attendees at the meeting, and a resolution passed by the board. Mecka’s request, however, was blocked by the HHI, who, according to the complaint, claimed that it was not a “public agency,” and therefore not subject to the Open Public Records Act.

PRICE RIGGING – ZONING MANUPULATION, Hoboken begins the process of Eminent Domain to acquire private land for a park.

The City of Hoboken moved one step closer to using Eminent Domain as a “tool” to force the sale of privately owned property to the government for use as a park. 

In a unanimous vote, Hoboken City Council members passed two Resolutions that are necessary to initiate the eminent domain process.   The Resolutions approve the November 21, 2011 property value appraisals and authorizes the issuance of an “OFFER LETTER” based on fair market value to the record title owners of the properties. 

Not everyone in the audience was happy with the Council’s actions as two public speakers made their feelings know, one stating that Hoboken officials engaged in “price-rigging and zoning manipulation.

UPDATE: January 3, 2012 Transcript William Campbell vs. City of Hoboken

On Jan 3, 2012, Mayor Zimmer made a second appearance before Administrative Law Judge Jesse H. Strauss and testified in William Campbell vs. City of Hoboken.  For those of you following the case, Mayor Zimmer's previous November 9, 2011 appearance was interrupted after three hours of testimony when the Mayor advised the Court that the FBI was at Hoboken City Hall and she had to immediately return to the City.

Hoboken Construction Code Official files lawsuit against City; names Mayor, Business Administrator, Assistant Corporation Counsel, and 15 "John Does" as defendants

On December 23, 2011, embattled Hoboken Construction Code official ALFRED AREZZO filed a CEPA lawsuit in the Law-Civil Part division of the Hudson County Superior Court Docket # L 006490 "AREZZO VS THE CITY OF HOBOKEN NEW JERSEY ET AL".

Hoboken Reporter: Mayor testifies for hours about former spokesman’s layoff, Attorney debates juicy Hoboken topics with Zimmer; video obtained exclusively by Reporter

More than a year after the city of Hoboken laid off 13 city workers in a well-publicized layoff plan, Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the city are spending hours fighting one employee’s appeal in the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) court in Newark. Testimony obtained exclusively by the Reporter shows that the laid-off employee’s attorney has sparred with Zimmer over many controversial political issues that have occurred in town over the last year, including raises for Zimmer’s two aides, and internet blogs that appear to favor Zimmer.

Zimmer recently testified for more than four hours in one day in the OAL court regarding the appeal of former city Public Information Officer Bill Campbell’s layoff.

UPDATE: November 9, 2011 Court Transcript William Campbell vs. City of Hoboken

On Nov 9, 2011, Mayor Zimmer testified in William Campbell v. City of Hoboken.  After three hours of testimony, Mayor Zimmer advised the Court that the FBI was at Hoboken City Hall and she needed to return to Hoboken.   The case was adjourned and rescheduled for continuation on January 3, 2012.  Attached is the 77 page Court transcript of Mayor Zimmer’s Nov 9th testimony.

Hoboken parking enforcement officer claims supervisors sexually harassed her: suit

A Hoboken Parking Utility (HPU) employee is suing the utility and two of her supervisors on charges of sexual harassment.

Parking enforcement officer Catherine Stewart said in a civil complaint filed this week with the state superior court that since she began working at the utility in July 2010, she has been subjected to harassment by two employees. She also claims agency officials turned a blind eye to their lewd behavior.

Stewart says that her supervisor Hector Mojica made "direct obscene and vulgar sexual comments" even before he was in a position of authority, according to the lawsuit.

When she refused his advances, he pulled strings to give her less desirable positions (working on the street instead of in a vehicle), took away scheduled overtime hours and threatened to fire her, the suit says.

Hoboken University Medical Center Nurse’s Union JNESO Files Objection in Hudson Healthcare Inc Bankruptcy

JNESO, District Council 1, IUOE, AFL-CIO (“JNESO”) , the union representing nurses at Hoboken University Medical Center, filed an Objection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to the two (2) Motions filed by the Debtor,  Hudson Healthcare, Inc. (the “Hudson”)

Hoboken Reporter: Company that wants to buy Hoboken's hospital says mayor 'misrepresented' them by releasing outdated proposal to the public

As the city of Hoboken works out a bankruptcy agreement for Hoboken University Medical Center so that they may sell it to a private company called HUMC Holdco, Mayor Dawn Zimmer's detractors have said that other bidders have given proposals to buy the hospital, and that perhaps they should have been considered.

Yesterday, Mayor Dawn Zimmer released a response, saying that two of the proposals - from Jersey City Medical Center, and from a company called P3 - were not as good as the current bid from HUMC Holdco, for a variety of reasons.

Those proposals are posted on the city website.

When contacted by the Reporter, Jersey City Medical Center declined to comment. But P3 offered a comment late on Thursday afternoon.

They said that the proposal that Zimmer posted was outdated, and that unlike Holdco, they would run the facility as a nonprofit and keep it for health care "in perpetuity." Holdco has given a guarantee for seven years.

For-profit hospitals discussed in Trenton, Hearing draws testimony from Meadowlands CEO; Hoboken head absent

Hudson County hospitals were front and center at a state Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Senate subcommittee meeting on Monday that focused on for-profit hospitals in New Jersey.

The hearing came just days after allegations of bankruptcy fraud were made against Hoboken University Medical Center (HUMC), and on the same day it was reported in The Star Ledger that Meadowlands Hospital in Secaucus charges up to 3,000 percent higher for certain procedures by using a loophole in the medical system.

In Hudson County and across the country, failing hospitals are being bought by companies that try to turn a profit at these formerly non-profit institutions. But some worry that patient care will suffer as a result.

Jarrett Renshaw: Owners of Bayonne Medical Center spent $350K on lobbyists and political campaigns in past 2 years, records show

The ownership group of Bayonne Medical Center may be as well versed in the art of Trenton politics as it is in medicine.

Facing legislative calls for increased oversight of for-profit hospitals as it pursues a controversial deal at Hoboken University Medical Center, the group has spent more than $350,000 in the past two years on political campaigns and high-powered lobbyists to make their case at the Statehouse, records show.

The Bayonne hospital paid Rosemont Associates, a lobbying firm that employs former U.S. Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.) to help convince the chairmen of the state legislative budget committees to support an $11 million earmark to ease the sale of the Hoboken University Medical Center, records show.

N.J. lawmakers seek to strengthen law requiring attorney general to oversee transfer of non-profit hospitals

Two key Democratic lawmakers are planning to strengthen a law that requires the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office to oversee the transfer of non-profit hospitals.

The move comes after the proposed sale of the Hoboken University Medical Center escaped the stringent review by successfully arguing that its status as a city-run hospital exempts it from the Community Healthcare Assets Protection Act, or CHOPA.

Under the law, the attorney general’s reviews all aspects of the sale of non-profit hospital, including whether the seller is getting fair market value, ensuring conflicts of interest are disclosed, the bidding process is fair and a host of items designed to protect the public. A superior court judge must also give their final opinion on the sale.

One of the major criticisms of the Hoboken sale has been the lack of transparency. Among other items, the public has yet to see the applications of the other bidders beside the successful one — the ownership group of the Bayonne Medical Center. Council members were just provided the financial statements of the hospital Wednesday.

New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority Approves $2.5M loan to Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority

The Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority has requested a $2.5 million loan from the Authority to fund the continued operations of the Hoboken University Medical Center (“HUMC”), which is currently owned by HMHA, until the planned sale of HUMC to a company known as HUMC Holdco can be completed. The sale is expected to be completed by the end of September 2011. The loan will be secured by a subordinated pledge of the Revenues of HMHA, including an $11 million State appropriation to HMHA, which will not be available to HMHA until the sale is closed. The loan will be made from the Authority’s fund balance, which is currently over $4 million.

Nurses union JNESO District Council 1 subpoena's documents from Official Committee of Secured Creditors in Hoboken hospital bankruptcy

On Saturday, September 24, 2011, JNESO District Council 1, a union representing several hundred nurses employed by the Hudson Healthcare, Inc. Debtor at the Hoboken University Medical Center, issued a subpoena to Sills Cummis & Gross P.C., counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of the Debtor.

JNESO is seeking copies of all deposition transcripts in the Bankruptcy Case and  all documents produced to the Committee by the Debtor, the Authority, the proposed purchaser of the Hospital, or the City of Hoboken.

CEO of Jersey City Medical Center is willing to buy troubled Hoboken hospital if bankruptcy negotiations collapse

The CEO of the Jersey City Medical Center has reached out to state and local officials to let them know he is still willing to buy the Hoboken University Medical Center if bankruptcy settlement negotiations falter and the proposed sale collapses.

Joe Scott, CEO of Jersey City Medical Center, said he contacted Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the state Department of Health and Senior Services Thursday morning just hours after Hoboken City Council rejected a last-minute effort to salvage negotiations.

Minutes after the vote, Zimmer said the oldest hospital in the state would close and roughly 1,300 people would lose their jobs.

"I let them know we stand ready to do whatever it takes to ensure there is a organized transition with the hospital if this deal falls apart,'' Scott said. "We have a partner willing to buy the hospital and placed a bid…We were going to lease space from them.''

Audio of Senator Weinberg's Hospital Privatization Hearing

On Monday, September 21, 2011, New Jersey State Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-District 37), chair of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee held a hearing on the growing concerns of Hospital Privatization issues.

After reading press accounts about an attorney working for the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Arthority who said in a filed certification to the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of New Jersey;

"During the period of retention, which ended on July 15,2011, I was a firsthand witness to apattern of conduct by HMHA members to intimidate, threaten, control, abuse, and attempt to force the CEO of HHI and members of the HHI Board to take actions adverse to its charter and otherwise to violate the laws of the State of New Jersey."

Weinberg requested an investigation by United States Attorney, District of New Jersey and the New Jersey State Attorney General.

U.S. Attorney, District of New Jersey on behalf of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority that they are not in bankruptcy and therefore not the Debtor

The U.S. Attorney, District of New Jersey on behalf of the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“the Secretary”) submitted a Federal Bankruptcy filing to apprise the Purchaser and other interested parties of the consequences surrounding the Purchaser’s acceptance of the Provider Agreement or,alternatively, the Purchaser’s rejection of any such assignment and the Secretary’s opposition to anyattempt to transfer the Hospital’s Medicare Provider Agreement without successor liability.

"Moreover, because the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority (and therefore, not the Debtor) is the holder of the Medicare Provider Agreement and is not in bankruptcy, any transaction regarding the transfer of its Provider Agreement with the Secretary must take place outside the scope of this court’s jurisdiction."

In related events, more than one creditor listed by Hoboken Healthcare, Inc. Debtor have filed OBJECTION TO THE DEBTOR’S MOTION FOR ENTRY OF AN ORDER APPROVING SETTLEMENT AND COMPROMISE claiming they have a valid, binding claim directly against the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority, a non-debtor, based upon a contract with the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority. 

 

Asleep at the switch as Hoboken University Medical Center was spending money it did not have and incorrectly assumed the city would pick up the difference.

The September 19, 2011 nj.com published headline said it all “Lawyer from Hoboken Hospital Authority says critics are wrong about events that led to hospital's bankruptcy filing.”

A lawyer with the Hoboken Hospital Authority says critics are purposefully mischaracterizing the events leading up to the bankruptcy of the city’s hospital to further their own agenda.

In the most detailed defense of allegations that the city-backed authority pushed the hospital into bankruptcy, the authority’s attorney Ken Rosen said the hospital was spending money it did not have and incorrectly assumed the city would pick up the difference.

Hoboken University Hospital creditors want more than $10M to allow for its sale

Creditors are seeking more than $10 million from Hoboken University Hospital as a part of a broad bankruptcy settlement that would allow for the sale of the cash-strapped facility, according to sources with knowledge of the ongoing negotiations. 

However, the city is reluctant to pick up the extra costs, inching the hospital closer to shutting it doors, according to sources who asked for anonymity because they did not want to disrupt ongoing negotiations.   

Officials with the creditors committee, the city and its hospital held a seven-hour negotiating session Monday in hopes of settling the bankruptcy dispute before a pivotal hearing on Thursday, according to sources.

State Senator Loretta Weinberg requests investigation of fraud allegations against Hoboken University Hospital

A state senator has asked the U.S. Attorney and the state Attorney General to investigate allegations of fraud raised by the former attorney of Hoboken University Hospital before the state decides whether its pending sale can move forward.

Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) sent letters to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman and state Attorney Paula Dow asking them to probe charges by Donald Scarinci, who resigned as the hospital’s attorney two weeks before it filed for bankruptcy on Aug. 1.

In court papers, Scarinci said he quit because the city-backed authority created to oversee the hospital withheld millions in contractual payments to help make it appear it was in duress and push it into bankruptcy. The ultimate goal, he said, was to ensure an investment group that owns the Bayonne Medical Center gets to purchase the hospital. The group wants to buy the hospital for $65 million and convert it to a private facility.

Court Documents Show "Hoboken University Hospital lawyer resigned because he was afraid city was committing fraud"

The Star Ledger reported that "the attorney for Hoboken University Hospital says he resigned in July because he feared the city was committing fraud by engineering the bankruptcy of its hospital."

"During the period of retention, which ended on July 15,2011, I was a firsthand witness to a pattern of conduct by HMHA members to intimidate, threaten, control, abuse, and attempt to force the CEO of HHI and members of the HHI Board to take actions adverse to its charter and otherwise to violate the laws of the State of New Jersey."

In court documents filed September 13, 2011 by Joseph J. DiPasquale of TRENK, DIPASQUALE, WEBSTER, DELLA FERA & SODONO, P.C., Attorneys for Hudson Healthcare, Inc., Debtor,  claim "the Creditors' Committee and Donald Scarinci, Esq. concede that they met on August 25, 2011 at Scarinci & Hollenbeck's office without any notice to the Debtor and for the sole purpose of obtaining information concerning Scarinci's former client, the Debtor.   Scarinci & Hollenbeck, was the general counsel for the hospital and its board from 2009 until July 16, about two weeks before the facility filed for bankruptcy.

North Hudson Sewage Authority says City of Hoboken responsible for $ 473,517.00 past due Hospital sewage charges

In a continuing case of déjà vu, it looks like the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority may have once again exposed the Hoboken taxpayers to legal liabilities associated with the Hudson Healthcare, Inc. bankruptcy.


In a September 13, 2011 Federal Bankruptcy Court filing, the North Hudson Sewage Authority asserts that the HOBOKEN MUNICIPAL HOSPITAL AUTHORITY is responsible for unpaid sewage charges in excess of $ 473,517.00.

Olympus America Inc. claims a valid, binding $ 372,861.08 + claim directly against the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority (City of Hoboken)

As the wheels of justice slowly turn, new filings in the Hudson Healthcare, Inc. bankruptcy case continue to bring eye-opening insight into the troubled finances of the Hoboken University Medical Center and the oversight of the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority.

In court papers filed September 13, 2011 in Federal Bankruptcy Court, Olympus America, Inc. asserted a valid, binding claim directly against the Hoboken University Hospital Authority, a non-debtor, based upon its contract with the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority.  If the Court agrees, the City of Hoboken may be responsible for payments in excess of $ 372,861.08.

Hoboken University Hospital chief executive received $600K severance package weeks before bankruptcy filing

Less than three weeks before the operator of the city-owned Hoboken University Hospital filed for bankruptcy — putting millions of dollars in taxpayer money and union pension funds at risk — the hospital’s chief executive received a six-figure payout, records show.

Spiros Hatiras, 46, stepped down as chief executive on July 16 after two years on the job with a severance package that includes:

  • $600,000 in compensation,
  • full medical benefits for a year,
  • and stipulated that the hospital authority will pay all of Hatiras’s legal expenses stemming from the agreement.

Hoboken's approval of Willow Street project violates low-income housing requirements, lawsuit alleges

Fair Share Housing Center has filed a suit charging the Zoning Board and Advance at Hoboken LLC, the developer of a planned 140-unit housing development at 1300 Willow St., with failing to comply with fair housing regulations.

The center, which was created in 1975 to ensure fair housing in New Jersey, filed suit challenging the approval and seeking compliance with Hoboken’s ordinance on housing for lower-income households.

The suit was filed in Hudson County Superior Court on July 6.

Fair Share Housing Center Associate Director Kevin Walsh said 10 percent of new housing in the city is required to be available for lower-income families, but the rule is not being enforced in new developments.

Hoboken University Medical Center CEO Spiros Hatiras resigns

Spiros Hatiras has stepped down as the chief operating officer at the Hoboken University Medical Center, Hoboken Now has learned.

The Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority accepted his resignation last night at a meeting, hospital spokeswoman Joan Quigley said.

Hatiras' resignation comes as the city-owned hospital is in the process of being sold to the owners of the Bayonne Medical Center.

Vinnie Riccitelli, HUMC's chief financial officer, will be interim CEO until the sale is finalized. The sale is valued at $91 million -- $25 million earmarked for capital improvements and the balance going toward paying off the hospital's debt.

Hispanic cops on former Hoboken SWAT team settle discrimination lawsuit

Hoboken has agreed to pay five Hispanic officers $2 million to settle a federal discrimination lawsuit brought by the officers in October 2007, according to sources.

The Newark law firm that represented the officers has scheduled a press conference for noon today at the Hilton Gateway Hotel at Newark Penn Station to discuss the settlement.

The five officers, four of whom were members of the city’s now-disbanded SWAT unit, will also be present, according to a press release from the law firm, Ginarte, O’Dwyer, Gonzalez, Gallardo & Winograd.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs and defendants signed an agreement dismissing the case on Friday, according to court records, which noted the settlement was agreed upon in May.

“We are happy it’s over,” said Sgt. Edwin Pantoja, one of the cops who filed the lawsuit. “We can put this behind us and move forward.” He declined to discuss specifics of the settlement.

Hoboken’s Half-Assed OPRA Response for WILLIAM D. CAMPBELL vs. CITY OF HOBOKEN!

Fifteen days after the attorneys for Appellant CAMPBELL (WILLIAM D. CAMPBELL vs.censored2.bmp
CITY OF HOBOKEN) submitted an OPRA (Open Public Records Act) request to the City of Hoboken, the law firm finally received two response packets.  The first packet, dated October 14, 2010 City OPRA LOG # 10-1696, consists of 10 pages while the second packet, dated October 15, 2010 City OPRA LOG # 10-1695, consists of 29 pages.   

For the record, there is no question that the law firm faxed the OPRA request to the Hoboken City Clerk’s Office on September 29, 2010 @ 4:02pm and entered into the OPRA LOG file the following business day, September 30, 2010 @ 9:36am. 

Hoboken accused of violating “OPRA” (New Jersey Open Public Records Act) in “William D. Campbell v. City of Hoboken”

The recent layoff of Hoboken’s Assistant Public Information Officer has added yet another lawsuit to the growing and costly list of Hoboken legal challenges.

The Law Office of C. Elston &Associates, LLC, Wall, New Jersey filed a Notice of Appeal with the New Jersey Civil Service Commission on behalf of WILLIAM D. CAMPBELL ("Appellant “ or “Campbell”) for his recent layoff from the permanent position of assistant Public Information Officer in the Department of Administration for the City of Hoboken.

Developer files lawsuit saying Hoboken improperly claimed it breached contract for sale of municipal garage, and that it was ready to pay price agreed upon

In August, the [Hoboken] City Council voted to kill the sale of the municipal garage on Observer Highway to S. Hekemian Group, stating the developer was in breach of contract for attempting to lower the price.

But now the developer says it was actually prepared to buy the property for the original $25.5 million.

SHG is also accusing the city of having "engaged in a charade," said the developer's attorney Doug Cohen.

"Their allegation that we were in breach was really a pretext to the fact that they were in breach," said Cohen. "They tried to fire the first shot."

Garage sale/lawsuit-a costly lesson

Now, the City of Hoboken is faced with another lawsuit that will result in costly legal expenses. The Observer Highway repair garage has been a financial nightmare for the taxpayer. In 2005, it was sold to the Hudson County Improvement Authority to plug a $7.9 mil budget gap or shortfall. Around July 1, 2006, the council voted to borrow $15 mil to pay off the HCIA. All this time we have to pay interest to keep this site operating and the current cost is approximately $120,000 per month. We have yet to select a replacement location.

Not so fast! Developer and resident file joint lawsuit against city over sale of municipal garage

At the December 13, 2007 Hoboken City Council meeting, Hani Ahmed warned that the Hoboken Municipal Garage deal would be challenged in court.

During a meeting last August, Developer Michael Kasparian, the owner of MDK Development, which previously placed two bids to purchase the city’s Municipal Garage site last year, questioned the city’s planning consultant Gordon Litwin over why earlier bids were disregarded by the city. MDK filed a lawsuit against the city earlier this week in which it alleges the city’s actions in the bidding process to be in violation of the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law.

THE GARAGE – Hoboken’s Municipal Garage, at the corner of Willow Avenue and Observer Highway, is costing the city $102,000 every month to lease, and if the current agreement survives the lawsuit, will one day be home to a 12-story, 240-unit residential complex.  
Just over a month after a divided City Council designated a developer to build housing on the Public Works Garage Site on Observer Highway, a competing developer and a Hoboken resident filed a joint lawsuit challenging the city's bidding process and choice of developer.

Developer MDK Development LLC, which bid $5 million more than the winning bidder for the site, is asking the Superior Court of New Jersey to order Hoboken to undertake a new RFP (Request for Proposals) process and force the city to return any bid security it has received from the chosen developer.