Bergen County Democratic Organization spokesman Bill Maer called the lawsuit filed against Hackensack Police Chief Ken Zisa that includes Freeholder Tomas Padilla as a co-defendant a “political hatchet job.”
“This is politically motivated. There’s no basis of fact. It’s being done for political reasons,” he said. "Anyone can file a lawsuit... and it's important for people to withold judgment until it's been adjudicated."
Maer said that he can’t speak to the accusations against Zisa, a former assemblyman who has played a prominent role in the local Democratic Party, but that the linkage to Padilla in the complaint is a stretch.Read More >
Michael Kasparian, the new Bergen County Democratic Chairman, today tapped former state senate candidate Joe Ariyan as the party's general counsel.
Ariyan is the fourth BCDO counsel in the last five months. He replaces Joseph Marinello, who took over two weeks ago after Paul Kaufman was abruptly fired when indicted former chairman Joe Ferriero temporarily returned from his leave of absence before resigning. Insiders with knowledge of the situation attributed the firing to a legal opinion Kaufman wrote paving the way for party members to vote on ousting Ferriero.
Kaufman had taken over the position from Dennis Oury, who resigned before being indicted with Ferriero on eight corruption counts.
“I am proud that my one my first official actions as Chairman is to appoint Joe Ariyan as Legal Counsel. Joe will undoubtedly do an excellent job as Counsel to the BCDO,” said Kasparian in a statement. “In addition to being a great attorney, Joe is a loyal Democrat who has worked hard over the last several years on behalf of our party.”Read More >
PolitickerNJ misread Ariyan's statement, and misreported that Ariyan was not interested in the position. Ariyan did not take his name out of the running, but merey refused to speculate about a run until there is a vacancy.PolitickerNJ regrets the error.
Attorney Joe Ariyan has taken his name out of the running for Bergen County Democratic Chairman.
Ariyan, who unsuccessfully challenged state Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Demarest) last year as the Bergen County Democratic Organization’s candidate, was mentioned in Charlie Stile’s column this weekend as a possible successor to indicted chairman Joe Ferriero.
“In recent weeks, I have been contacted by several elected officials from Bergen County as well as members of the County Committee encouraging me to pursue the Chairmanship of the Bergen County Democratic Organization,” said Ariyan in a statement. “To each, my response has been the same - which is that there is simply no vacancy for the position. Until and unless a convention is held or Chairman Ferriero resigns his post, any speculation is premature and merely political fodder."Read More >
In Bergen County, the Republican freeholder candidates’ opposition researchers have been in overdrive, accusing the Bergen County Improvement Authority of being a mere patronage arm of the Bergen County Democratic Organization, and blaming the incumbent freeholders of doing nothing to stop it.
The head of the BCIA, in turn, said that the Republicans are playing fast and loose with the facts by implying that the self-funding organization receives taxpayer money, and that grantees – not the authority – chooses bonding professionals.Read More >
In October, 2007, Dennis Oury gave the Bergen County Democratic Organization a $25,000 interest-free loan.
At the time, Oury was the BCDO’s general counsel. Yesterday, he stepped down after Tuesday’s indictment charging him and Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joe Ferriero with eight corruption counts. But the loan remains on the books.
Kay Nest, the party’s vice-chair who’s acting as chairwoman while Ferriero takes a leave of absence, said that she didn’t know about the loan, but it’s something that the party will be sure to address in the coming weeks, when top officials will pour over its finances.
When asked whether the BCDO should return the loan, Nest said “you just gave me a good idea. I didn’t even know about that. I’ll definitely look into it.”Read More >
Dennis Oury, the powerful Democratic attorney who was indicted on eight corruption counts yesterday, has resigned from his post as chief counsel of the Bergen County Improvement Authority, according to the agency’s chairman, Ron O’Malley.
Oury’s employment with the agency had been a point of contention among some factions of the Bergen County Democratic Party. State Sen. Loretta Weinberg mentioned it as a reason why she would not support O’Malley for county chair if and when Joe Ferriero, who was indicted along with Oury yesterday, resigns. Others, however, said that there was no reason to push Oury out before there was even a formally recognized investigation.
But O’Malley today took his name out of the mix, saying that, even if there is a vacancy, he won’t run. If he became chairman, he would have to step down from his position at the BCIA. O’Malley doesn’t believe this is an opportune time to do that.Read More >
Editor's Note: Paul Fader has indicated that he is not interested in seeking the Bergen County Democratic Chairmanship, and told PolitickerNJ.com that he has not made any phone calls indicating his interest or seeking support. The Inside Edge gives him the benefit of the doubt and accordingly, retracts our report.
Joe Ferriero's recent legal woes -- allegations that he assaulted a woman at a Labor Day barbecue at his home, and a federal probe of a grants business in which he is a part owner that resulted in the FBI seizing records from his law office -- have resulted in his taking a leave of absence from his post as Bergen County Democratic Chairman. Sensing a possible vacancy in the powerful post sometime in the near future, Paul Fader, a former Mayor of Englewood who served as Chief Counsel to Governors James E. McGreevey and Richard Codey,has begun making calls to seek support for Ferriero's job.
Joseph Ferriero will take a leave of absence from his post as Bergen County Democratic Chairman following allegations that he assaulted a woman during a Labor Day barbecue at his Old Tappan home. This is the latest in a series of legal woes for the powerful party leader; last month, FBI agents seized personal records from his law office as part of a federal probe of a grants business he owns with lawyer Dennis Oury.Read More >
As Gov. Chris Christie's heads to New Hampshire tomorrow, a conservative group wants to welcome him with a television commercial critical of his record on judicial nominations.Read More >
With looming deadline on bail reform, Christie calls Legislature into special session TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie is calling the legislature into special session Thursday to address recent bail reform legislation before a looming deadline next week, according to a letter from the governor’s office today. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)...
By Linda Stender At his most recent town hall, Gov. Chris Christie accused his predecessors of "monkeying with the math" when it comes to their handling of our state's economy. But as the old saying goes, when the governor points a finger, he... Read More >
"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile- The Bergen Record
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