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sUDSON COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT 4UDSON COUNTY 380 NEWARK AVENUE SEY CITY Nu O7308 TRACK ASSIGNMENT NOTICE COURT TELEPHONE NO, (201) 217-5162 COURT HOURS 6:30 AM = 4:30 FM DATE: GCTOBER 30, 2014 RE GARCIA VS ZIMMER ETALS DOCKET: HUD L -004714 14 THE ABOVE CASE HAS BEEN ASSIGNED TO: TRACK 3 450 DAYS AND RUNS FROM THE FIRST ANSWER OR 90 Days DISCOVERY IS WHICHEVER COMES FIRST. ROM SERVICE ON THE FIRST DEFENDANT, THE PRETRIAL JUDGE ASSIGNED 1S: HON CHRISTINE tl. VANEK IF YOU HAVE ANY GUESTIONS, CONTACT TEAM 901 (201) 795-8116 IF YOU BELIEVE THAT THE TRACK IS INAPPROPRIATE YOU MUST FILE A CERTIFICATION OF GOD CAUSE WITHIN 30 DAYS OF THE FILING OF YOUR PLEADING. PLAINTIFF MUST SERVE COPIES OF THIS FURM ON ALL OTHER PARTIES IN ACCORDAN ATTENT IGN Zayas tours A BPO1 KENNEDY BLVD STE 5a NORTH BERGEN Nu 07047 CF Appendix XU-B1 CIVIL CASE INFORMATION STATEMENT (cls) Use for initial Law Division Civil Part pleadings (not motions) under Rule 4:5-1 Pleading will be rejected for filing, under Rule 1:5-6(c), OF NEW rey if information above the black bar is not completed or attorney's signature is not affixed aie #8 TORREY PROBE WE HENNE MBER] CoUNTVOFVERUE TOUIS A ZAYAS, ESQ (zor 97-2900 Thadson Wa ape DERE LAUER waa] Taw Offices of Lous A, Zayas, LLG ONT ‘OFFICE ADDRESS ee DOCUMENT TYPE Complant 8901 Kennedy Blvd. Suite 5S. i Norh Borgen ND 07047 sacra ves OM NAME OF PARTY (eg. John Doe, Plaintt) CAPTION, ~ Carmelo Garcia Carmola Garcia v. Dawn Ziman, SRSETIPENER ears Ss ay TSA ROFERSONAL UFNETOE OSE —ES VO vos ievounyecnroxeny eee in Geter dann i Aum SLT OP MER FERED PENN? TPS UST pOOKET aS ove mre SS TOU ANSP RDDING ANT PARTIE ARF DFTTNOANT STRAIT NSURANGE COMIN on urged else Vamsi ccarena? 2 mone 13 Yes 1 tno eh anke miro unin aunouisunuc mesa (CASE CHARACTERISTICS FOR PURPOSES OF DETERMINING IF CASE IS APPROPRIATE FOR MEDIATION ‘DO PARTIES HAVE A CURRENT, PAST OR TF YES, IS THAT RELATIONSII RECURRENT RELATIONSHIP? By enrtoventewoiovee Q Faenomesonsor — O Orren explain) Hives [No OF Fos Bi musiess DOES THE STATUTE GOVERNING IWS CASE PROVIDEFORPAYMENT OF FEESBYIWELOSING PARTY? CJ Yes LI NO USE THIS SPACE TO ALERT TW! COURT 10 ANY SPF-CIAL CAST CHARAGTMRISTICS AT MAY WARRANT INDIVIDUAL MANAGEMENT OR ACGFLERATED DISPOSITION & LER aR ERENT [rena Ove No ‘WiLL Av WTERORETER BE NEEDED? TF VES, FOR WANT GUAGE? Dives No T certify that confidential personal iderriers have been redacted from documents now submitted to the court, and will be redacted from all documents submitted in\the future in accordance with Rule 1:38-7(b). Eecivenzoa0, on 0817. page of CIVIL CASE INFORMATION STATEMENT (cls) Use for initial pleadings (not motions} under Rule 45-1 CASE TYPES (Choose one and enter number of case type in appropriate space on the reverse side.) ‘Track!| ~ 180 days' discovery 151 NAME CHANGE 175. FORFEITURE 202 TENANCY 309. REAL PROPETY jothertnan Yonsney, Conrace, Condomnation, Complee Commercial of Construction) 502 BOOK ACCOUNT (deb clleion matters ony) 505 OTHER INSURANCE CLAIM (incusing ceclaratry judgment ations} 505 PIPCOVERAGE ‘510. UMor UIM CLAIM (coverage issuns ont) 511 ACTION ON NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENT 512 LEMON LAW. a1 SUMMARY ACTION 802 OPEN PUBLIC RECORDS ACT (eummary ation) 388. OTHER (riety describe nature of ack) Track Il ~ 300 days’ discovery ‘405 CONSTRUCTION, 500. EMPLOYMENT (othorthan CEA or LAD) 599. CONTRACTICOMMERCIAL TRANSACTION, BSN AUTO NEGIIGENCE ~ PERSONAL INJURY non-verbal troshold) 803 AUTO NEGLIGENCE — PERSONAL INJURY Werbal freshoi} 605" PERSONAL. INJURY G10 AUTO NEGLIGENCE - PROPERTY DAMAGE 621 UMor UIM CLAIM retusa nr 899 TORT - OTHER Track Wl - 450 days’ discovery 005. civil RIGHTS 501 CONDEMNATION 602 ASSAULT AND BATTERY 604 MEDICAL MALPRACTICE 606 PRODUCT LADLITY 607 PROFESSIONAL MALPRACTICE 608 TOXIC TORT 609 DEFAMATION 618 WHISTLEBLOWER J CONSCIENTIOUS EMPLOYEE PROTECTION ACT (CEPA) CASES 17 INVERSE CONDEMNATION G18 LAW AGAINST DISCRIMINATION (LAD) CASES. Track IV - Active Case Management by Individual Judge / 450 days’ 155 ENVIRONMENTALIENVIRONMENTAL COVERAGE LITIGATION 203 MT LAUREL 508 COMPLEX COMMERCIAL, 513 COMPLEX CONSTRUCTION 514 INSURANCE FRAUD 520 FALSE CLAIMS ACT TO1 ACTIONS INLIEU OF PREROGATIVE WRITS Centrally Managed Litigation (Track IV) a0" ZELNORM 290 POMPTON LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL LITIGATION 285 STRYKER TRIDENT HIP IMPLANTS 281. PELVIC MESIIGYNECARE 288 PRUDENTIAL TORT LITIGATION 252. PULVIG MESIUBARD 288 REGLAN 283. DEPUY ASR IP IMPLANT LITIGATION Mass Tort (Track IV) 248 CIBA GEIGY 26), BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB ENVIRONMENTAL 255 HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (HRT) 22 FOSAMAX 271 ACCUTANENSOTRETINONN 284 NUVARING 274. RISPELRDALISEROQUELIZYPREXA 288 LEVAQUIN 278 ZOMETAAREDIA 287 YAZASMINIOCELLA 279 GADOLINIUM, at asnesTOS you believe this ease roquirs a track other than that provided above, pleace indicate the reazon on Side 1, Inthe space undor "Case Charactorstcs Please check off each applicable category [| Putative Class Action O Title 59 ftecbve 067272011, CN 10817-Englsh page 2 0f2 > LOUIS A. ZAYAS. ESQ. ye “LAW OFFICES OF LOUIS A. ZAYAS, LLC 8901 Kennedy Boulevard, 5" Floor We North Bergen, N.J. 07047 oo 4 ye Counsel for the Plaintiff Carmelo Gar SS cath oe Tel: (201) 977-2900 gy ah Ok CARMELO GARCIA, ee ) SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY. ) LAW DIVISION: HUDSON COUNTY Plaintiff } af } DOCKET No. aPMAY DAWN ZIMMER, Inher Individual and} ahah! Official Capacity as Mayor of Hoboken the CITY OF HOBOKEN; DANA WEFER, In her) COMPLAINT Individual and Official Capacity as Housing Authority Chairwoman; DAVID MELLO, In) his Individual and Official Capacity as the) FILED Vice-Chairman to the Hoboken Housing) MER SERVICE TEMA Authority and City of Hoboken City ) Councilman ; HOBOKEN HOUSING ocr 2 72014 AUTHORITY; : ‘SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY __Defendants. estate CM OMSOwES Plaintiff, CARMELO GARCIA, by and through his attomey, LOUIS A. ZAYAS ESQ., of the Law Offices of Louis A. Zayas, LLC, alleges the following upon information and belief! 1, Plaintiff Carmelo Garcia (“Plaintiff” or “Director Garcia”) is a Hispanic and long-term resident of Hoboken, New Jersey. Plaintiff is the former Executive Director of the Hoboken Housing Authority 2. Defendant Mayor Dawn Zimmer (“Mayor Zimmer”) is a white citizen residing in the City of Hoboken, New Jersey. Defendant Zimmer is the duly-elected mayor of Hoboken, Mayor Zimmer is sued in her official and individual capacity for purposes of effecting the compensatory and punitive damages demanded by Plaintiff. 3 Defendant Chairwoman Dana Wefer (“Chairwoman Wefer™) is a white citizen of the State of New Jersey. Defendant Wefer serves as Chairwoman of the Hoboken Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. Chairwoman Wefer is sued in her the compensatory and punitive official and individual capacity for purposes of effect damages demanded by Plaintiff. 4. Defendant Vice-Chairman David Mello (“Vice-Chairman Mello”) is a white citizen of the State of New Jersey. Defendant Mello serves as a Vice-Chairman of the Hoboken Housing Authority Board of Commissioners and the City of Hoboken City Councilman, Vice-Chairman Mello is sued in his official and individual capacity for purposes of effecting the compensatory and punitive damages demanded by Plaintiff. Defendant Hoboken Housing Authority (“HHA”) is public entity created by virtue of, and pursuant to, New Jersey law. ‘The HHA is sued for puzposes of effecting the compensatory and punitive damages demanded by Plaintiff. 6. Defendant City of Hoboken (“City”) is public entity created by virtue of, and pursuant to, New Jersey law. The City is sued for purposes of effecting the compensatory and punitive damages demanded by Plaintiff. FACTS 7. The Hoboken Housing Authority is an autonomous agency created by state law and subject to § 40A:12A “Local Redevelopment and Housing Lave,” which oversees the development and maintenance of federally-subsidized, low-ineome residential buildings in Hoboken. Political interference in its day-to-day operations, including personnel decisions and the awarcling of government contracts is prohibited. Pursuant to N.I.S.A. § 40A:12A, the HHA hires an Executive Director to manage and oversee the entire agency. The HHA board is made up of seven members whom implement policy and oversee the Executive Director. The HHA Commissioners are appointed by the governor (1), the mayor (1) and City Couneil (5). The commissioners then vote for the chairman or chairwoman. Formally, Mayor Zimmer’s role is limited to appointing one commissioner to the HHA, but also has the political influence to recommends appointments to the Governor and City Couneil, which generally approve her recommendations. Thus, the HHA Board is often influenced or controlled by the mayor of Hoboken, 9. On September 1, 2010, HHA hired Director Garcia, the first Hispanic to serve in that capacity, to a five-year employment contract afier successfully serving, as a deputy executive director. Director Garcia’ employment contract, which ended on. August 31, 2015, was expected to be extended in the absence of any legitimate work related deficiency. When Executive Director Garcia accepted employment with the HHA, he was not required to support any politician or subscribe to any political poliey or belief. To be sure, HHA prohibits political influence in the government affairs of the HHA. 10, _ Executive Director Garcia’s duties and responsibilities included overseeing the day-to-day operations of the HIA, including but not limited to, the award of contracts to professional vendors attempting to do business with the HHA. Il, The day-to-day operations of the HHA are delegated to the executive director, who is given managerial business discretion to exercise his judgment and implement HHA policy. 12. The HHA Executive Director is the appropriate appointing authority for purposes of hiring of HHA employees, vendors and independent contractors, 13. Throughout his employment with the HHA, Director Garcia has performed his duties and responsibilities in an exemplary manner, receiving numerous awards and commendations for himself and the HHA. 14, Beginning in 2012, Director Garcia's employment was threaten and later terminated by the HHA because he vocally refused to participate in and repeatedly objected to Mayor Zimmer’s unlawful efforts, through her political supporter on the HHA Board of Commissioners, to advance her political agenda and discriminatory policies within that organization. 15, Inoraround September 2002, Mayor Zimmer and her family moved to Hoboken from Manhattan, Soon after moving to Hoboken, Mayor Zimmer, her husband and political allies, most of whom are white and affluent, sought to transform Hoboken in toa white community to reflect their own political, class, and ethnic backgrounds. 16. To carry out her vision ofa Hoboken, Mayor Zimmer with the participation of her husband and political supporters on the City Council and other government agencies, sought to implement an unwritten and unlawful policy of systematically replacing members of Hoboken’s “Old Guard,” a group predominantly erm Hoboken residents of African American, composed of working class and lot placing them with mostly white, affluent ltalian, and Hispanics background, and individuals from outside of Hoboken, commonly referred to as the “New Guard.” 17, Within political circles, Mayor Zimmer is perceived as representing the interest of and receiving political support from the New Guard, whereas the Old Guar seen as antagonistic to her policies. By replacing the Old Guard with the New Guard, Mayor Zimmer has been able to execute ber policies throughout the City Hall and elsewhere. 18. Toexceute her unlawful and discriminatory policies, Mayor Zimmer relies upon a political patronage system that rewards her political supporters, who are mostly white and affluent, while punishing her political opponents, who are mostly minorities and working class. 19. Mayor Zimmer's policies were first executed in City Hall. For example, when Mayor Zimmer first became mayor, she surrounded herself with New Guard appointments, which were all white with the exception of one, Angel Alicia, the first Hispanic Director of Publie Safety that Hoboken ever had. Although Mayor Zimmer initially kept Ange! Alicia as a leftover from the previous administration, she later fired him because of his association as an Old Guard and race/ethnicity. 20. In January 2, 2014, a Hudson County jury found that Mayor Zimmer unlawfully discriminated against Angel Alicia on basis of his race and ethnicity when she fired him in April 2011, The jury awarded Angel Alicia over $1.2 million, including punitive damages because of Mayor Zimmer's particularly egregious conduct. 21. Throughout Mayor Zimmer’s Administration, she has selectively targeted Old Guard employees and minorities for harsher treatment than members of the New Guard, who are predominantly white and affluent. For example, Mayor Zimmer's unfair treatment of Old Guard and minorities was the object of complaints by the President of the Hoboken Branch of the NAACP and the Hoboken Chief of Police. Despite their complaints of unfair treatment and discrimination, the City of Hoboken and Mayor Zimmer failed to take any remedial action to stop it 22, Mayor Zimmer's policies are unlawful because they (1) condition government benefits, privileges and rights based on political affiliation and belief; and (2) unlawfully discriminate against individuals on the basis of race and ethnicity, whether as it concerns their employment or housing 23. Mayor Zimmer’s unlawful policies are not limited to City Hall. Through her political appointments and support of her allies on other municipal agencies in Hoboken, Mayor Zimmer is enabled carry out her unlawful policies in such government agencies as the Hoboken Board of Education, Hoboken Zoning Board, Hoboken Planning, Board, and the Hoboken Housing Authority. 24, With regard to the HHA, Mayor Zimmer considered the HHA as an important government agency to implement not only her unlawful political patronage policy, but also to implement her discriminatory housing policies by displacing minorities from their homes in order to make room for mostly white, affluent individuals. 25. Because the HHA represents thousands of mostly minotity residents (Old Guard members), which generally do not support Mayor Zimmer or her policies, Mayor | group obstructing the implementation of Zimmer perceives them as a discrete polit her political and discriminatory housing policies in Hoboken. 26. Beginning in May of 2012 and continuing to the present, Mayor Zimmer sought to execute her unlawful and discriminatory policies by taking control of the HHA and exerting undue influence over the day-to-day operations of the HHA. This includes, but not limited to, awarding government contracts, making personnel decisions, and construction projects based on political affiliation, Such unlawful influence and interference, which Plaintiff repeatedly complained about, violates state civil and criminal laws such N.JS.A. § 2C:27-2 (Bribery), N.J.S.A. § 2C:20-5 (Theft by Extortion), S.A. § 2C:30-2 (Conduct Unbecoming of a Public Official). 27. To cary out Mayor Zimmer’s unlawful policies with the HHA, she needed to control not only the HHA Board of Commissioners, but also HHA Director Garcia. In the event Director Garcia refused to support her policies, Mayor Zimmer and her political supporters on the HHA would resort to a pattern of threats, harassment, intimidation and extortion to force his resignation or. in the alternative, replace him with a political supporter 28. Initially, Mayor Zimmer, her husband and political supporters on the HHA tried to threaten and coerce Director Garcia to support Mayor Zimmer's policies in the HHA. On or about May 8, 2012, for example, Mayor Zimmer explicitly asked Director Garcia to support her policies in the HHA, including replacing Board Commissioner Jean Rodriguez, the longest serving HHA board member, as Chairwoman of the HHA because she did not support Mayor Zimmer's policies in the HHA, 29. Mayor Zimmer also told Director Garcia that Chairwoman Rodriguez’ son ‘was a Hoboken employee who was facing disciplinary charges. ‘The clear implication of that remark by Mayor Zimmer was that if Chairwoman Rodriquez. voluntarily stepped down, her son would not get fired. When Chairwoman Rodriguez refused to stepped down as HHA Chairwoman and make space for a pro-Mayor Zimmer supporter, her son’s employment was terminated from the City of Hoboken. 30. Not only did Director Garcia refuse to participate in removing, Chairwoman Rodriguez, in particular, but he refused to politically support Mayor Zimmer's policies as to the HHA, in general 31. Onseveral occasions, Director Garcia complained to Mayor Zimmer and the HHA that they were violating the state law and HHA regulations, including N.J.S.4, §40A:12A-17. Director Garcia repeatedly objected to Mayor Zimmer's policies and her overt threats 32. Despite the Mayor Zimmer's threats. Director Garcia refused to participate in Mayor Zimmer's scheme to use the HHA asa means to advance Mayor Zimmer's discriminatory policies and reward her political allies. 33. Despite her lack of authority to interfere with the day-to-day operations of the HHA, Mayor Zimmer through her political supporters on the HHA at the time, resorted to a pattern of threats, intimidation, harassment and extortion directed at Director Garcia to compel his cooperation to implement Mayor Zimmer policies or replace him with someone who would support her policies. 34, Despite Mayor Zimmer and the Defendants” threats to his employment, Director Garcia continued to object to and refused to participate in Mayor Zimmer's unlawful policies in the HHA because he reasonably believed they were unlawful, both civilly and criminally; in violation of N.L.S.A. § 40A:12A-17, and N.LS.A, § 2C:27-12 (comuption of a public resource). 35. Director Garcia disclosed to outside law enforcement agencies the aforementioned illegal activities in an effort to report Mayor Zimmer's violation of law. For example, Director Garcia wrote to and met with members of HUD, Department of Community Affairs, the New Jersey Attorney General's Office, the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office, and the Office of the Inspector General complaining of Mayor Zimmer’s unlawful political influence and control over the HHA, and his reasonable belief that Mayor Zimmer’s conduct violated civil and criminal laws. 36. The Defendants were all aware of the actions that Director Garcia was engaged in such protected activities, including the filing of @ lawsuit in Superior Court bring to light the Defendants’ wrongdoing 37. Asaresult of Director Garcia’s refusal to participate in and objection to the implementation of Mayor Zimmer's policies in the HHA, Mayor Zimmer had to replace Director Zimmer with someone who shared her political agenda and policies. 38. In August 13, 2013, Director Garcia filed a civil rights lawsuit in Hudson County Superior Court alleging the aforementioned discriminatory and retaliatory practices by Mayor Zimmer and her political supporters. In that lawsuit, Director Garcia complained that Mayor Zimmer and her political supporters engaged in unlawful violations of law, pattern of retaliation and discriminatory conduct, which he reasonably believed violated civil and criminal state statues, N.I.S.A. § 40A-12A, and NLS.A. § 12, In particular, N.J.S.A. § 2C:27-12 makes the corruption of public resources a crime under New Jersey law. 39. Furthermore, Director Garcia reasonably believed and alleged in that lawsuit that he was unlawfully discriminated against by Mayor Zimmer and the HHA because of his race and ethnicity, as well as opposition to Mayor Zimmer’s discriminatory housing policies designed to replace minorities in Hoboken and replace them with white and affluent. 40. Inthat lawsuit, Director Garcia alleged that Mayor Zimmer, her husband, the HHA, and the former HHA, Jake Stuvier engaged in violations of law, including but not limited to, unlawful violations of HHA rules and regulations; discriminatory and retaliatory employment practices, and other criminal and wronging, including but not 8 limited to, N.LS.A. § 2C:16-1a(3) (Bias Intimidation); Harassment under N. 2333-4. 41, Inaddition to the filing of the lawsuit, Director Garcia continued to report and complaint of Mayor Zimmer’s unlawful policies and violation of law by complaining, about her conduct to the HHA, the Housing and Urban Development, and other law enforcement agencies. 42. Inhis lawsuit, Director Garcia complained about (1) Mayor Zimmer's conspiracy with her husband and former HEA Chairman Stuvier to carry out her political patronage policies in the HHA; (2) Mayor Zimmer through her political supporters on the HHA and elsewhere to interfere with the day-to- day operations of the HHA; (3) Mayor Zimmer and the HHA efforts to award governmental contracts to Mayor ‘Zimmer's political supporters; and (4) creating a hostile work environment to force Director Garcia’ forced resignation or termination, 43, Instead of taking remedial action afier the lawsuit was filed to stop the wrongful, if'not criminal, actions taken by Mayor Zimmer and her political supporters, the HHA embarked upon an unprecedented campaign to retaliate against Director Garcia 10 for filing the lawsuit and disclosing the widespread allegations of corruption and government malfeasant within the HHA. 44. In response to the filing of Director Garcia’ lawsuit, a protected activity under New Jersey's Constitution, the Defendants escalated their pattern of threats, intimidation and harassment of Director Garcia 45. In January 2014, Mayor Zimmer and her political supporters took control over the HHA by appointing three (3) political supporters to its board, Chairwoman Wefer, David Denning, and James Sanford. Before the filing of Director Garcia’ lawsuit in August 2013, Mayor Zimmer did not effectively control the HHA board. Since January 2014, however, Mayor Zimmer had a majority control of the board. 46. Asa result of takeover of the HHA board, Mayor Zimmer, by and through her political supporters, participates in all personnel decisions and the award of professional contracts with litle, if any, political opposition. The take-over the HHA also provided Mayor Zimmer the opportunity to award HHA contracts to her political supporters, such as lawyers, accountants, and public relations companies. 47. Mayor joboken is, in effect, a joint employer ‘immer and the City of along with HHA, supposedly an autonomous government agency, for purposes of participating in personnel decisions, 48, Because of the filing of his lawsuit and association with the Old Guard, the Defendants conspired to threaten Director Garcia’ employment and, thus, his involuntary resignation by making baseless accusations involving alleged criminal activity and unfair criticism bearing on his professional reputation, while simultaneously uN obstructing the legitimate business of the HHA, which was still recovering from the damaging effects of Hurricane Sandy. 49, Given the pending lawsuit in Hudson County Superior Court, the Defendants needed to fabricate or exaggerate problems at the HHA as a pretext to terminate Director Garcia’s employment and thus cover-up their true unlawful intentions. to retaliate, humiliate, and discriminate against him. 50. In furtherance of this conspiracy, the Defendants directly and indirectly created unreasonable obstacles and distractions at the HHA to interfere with Director Garcia’ work performance and then unfairly blame him for the very problems the Defendants’ had caused. By fostering a hostile and intolerable environment for Director Garcia, the Defendants scheme to force his resignation or replace him with a Mayor Zimmer political supporter. SI. For example, Chairwoman Wefer repeatedly harassed, intimidated and threatened Director Garcia regarding his work performance, including falsely accusing and portraying Director Garcia of official misconduct and other misconduct bearing on his professional competence and reputation. 52, For example, on May 25, 2014, Chairwoman Wefer retaliated against Director Garcia by defaming or otherwise portraying him in a false light to the public by accusing Director Garcia of criminal activity in the Sunday edition of The Hoboken Reporter. According to Chairwoman Welfer: “When you're handling taxpayers money, the rent money that belongs to the residents, you really want to avoid even the appearance of improprieties and these contracts and contributions are extremely questionable “I'm expressing serious concerns about whether the HHA is following the proper procurement laws or breaking bidding laws, and about whether it’s proper for campaign contributions to come from businesses the HHA is doing business with, But [ think it’s very evident that there's a conflict of interest there.” 53, Similarly Vice Chairman Mello echo similar negative remarks against Director Garcia in public suggesting that Director Garcia was not performing his duties as executive director in a competent manner and was also engaged in criminal activities. 54. Chairwoman Wefer’s public statements to the media were part of the Defendants’ scheme to not only threaten Director Garcia’ employment, but also punish and discredit him as a victim of unlawful discrimination, whistleblower and vocal critic of Mayor Zimmer $3. The Chairwoman Wefer’ press statements were intended to humiliate him in public and destroy his professional reputation. 56. The Defendants’ retentless attacked on Director Garcia was intended to deflect attention from his allegations in the lawsuit concerning Mayor Zimmer's unlawful and discriminatory policies in the HHA, including the mass displacement of minorities to make room for wealthy, white residents and award government contracts to her political supporters. 57. Director Garcia complained to the HHA and others about Chairwoman Wefer and Vice-Chairman Mello unlawful and continuous retaliation. Despite his complaints, the HHA took no remedial action to stop it. 58. The Defendants also used politically allied bloggers to retaliate against Director Garcia by defaming and disparaging him because of his failure to support Mayor Zimmer's policies and create adverse public opinion against him, 59. Defendants further threaten Director Garcia’ employment and retaliated tions to law enforcement. For against him by reporting the above baseless criminal alleg example, Chairwoman Wefer contacted law enforcement to complain about Director Garcia’s illegal activities, knowing or should have known that they were false. 60. Notwithstanding the lack of any probable cause to believe any crime was committed, the Defendants sought to create the perception that Director Garcia had been engaged in wrongdoing to retaliate against him by damaging his professional reputation, creating unnecessary stress to him and his family. 61. Since the chances of any criminal wrongdoing by Director Garcia was extremely unlikely to be proven (precisely because he was innocent of any such wrongdoing) Mayor Zinamer and Chairwoman Wefer and Vice-Chairman Mello and the other political supporters on the HHA board voted improperly in June 2014 to hire an outside special counsel to conduct a so-call investigation of the HHA procurement practices and other matters relating to Director Garcia’ work performance. 62. The real purpose of the hiring the above special counsel was to trump up leading allegations against Director Garcia as a means to fire him for cause. false and The resolution to hire.special counsel was intended by the Defendants as a threat to Director Garcia’ employment because the special counsel was widely known to have filed a lawsuit against a Guttenberg housing authority employee for reporting public corruption in that agency. The Defendants expected the same retaliatory legal strategy against Director Garcia. 63. When HHA regulations prohibited the hiring of said outside counsel, the Defendants were faced with a dilemma. The Defendants’ efforts to fabricate a pretext to fire Director Garcia was not successful because Director Garcia refused to resigned, his work performance was excellent, and there was no cause to terminate his employment contract, 64. Sometime in the summer of 2014, the Defendant sought to create a procurement committee in order to by-pass Director Garcia’ role as the appointing authority to award government contracts. The HHA counsel, however, advised the Vice~ Chairman Mello that only Director Garcia had the appointing powers granted by his employment contract to award professional contracts. The HHA counsel advised that as long as Director Garcia is the executive director, any recommendations for appointments must go through him, 65. Asa result of that legal opinion, the Defendants recognized and agreed that Director Garcia had to be fired immediately in order to award professional contracts to Mayor Zimmer’ political supporters. 66. Mayor Zimmer, Chairwoman Wefer and Vice Chairman Mello and the other political supporters on the HHA, conspired to terminate Director Garcia because of his lack of political support to Mayor Zimmer, association with the Old Guard, the filing of the lawsuit, and his protected status as a Hispanic civic leader in the community. Not surprisingly, Vice-Chairman Mello, a openly pro-Mayor Zimmer supporter, expressed hostility to Director Garcia’ at one point referring to his allegations in the lawsuit - even afler a Superior Court denied a HHA’ motion to dismiss - as “frivolous.” 67, By terminating Director Garcia, the Defendants silenced him an effective and powerful voice on behalf of the working class and minority tenants residing at the 1,300-plus units at the HHA. The Hoboken public housing was seen by Mayor Zimmer and the Defendants as a source of lucrative contracts and voter base for political support or, in the alternative, neutralize that voter base against Mayor Zimmer. 68, Although Director Garcia was protected by an employment contract, the Defendants orchestrated the passing of a resolution to terminate Director Garcia’ employment despite the lack of any just cause (0 terminate his employment with HHA 69. Accordingly, Chairwoman Wefer placed on the HHA agenda the termination of Director Garcia’ employment contract with the HHA. The resolution violated the explicit terms and condition of Director Garcia’ employment contract. The HHA meeting to terminate his employment contract was placed on the agenda for August 4, 2014, which did not comply with HHA regulation because it was not given the appropriate amount of notice to the public or Rice notice given to Director Garcia. The hurried public meeting also failed to afford Director Garcia an opportunity to have his Jawyer present because of his vacation schedule. Director Garcia and his lawyer had requested an adjournment of the August 4, 2014 meeting because his lawyer was away on vacation. Chairwoman Weler refused to accommodate Director Garcia’s lawyer’s request in a departure from not only HHA practice but common decency. 70. ‘The HHA meeting of August 4, 2014 was a political charade orchestrated by the Defendants to limit public speech and controversy. The Defendants unlawfully transferred the public meeting from the designated HHA facility used for such public debates to City Hall. The change in location violated New Jersey state law because it did not provide sufficient room for public debate but also disenfranchised many HHA. minority tenants from appearing to express their opinion and opposition to the Defendants’ resolution. 16 71. On August 4, 2014, the Defendants acting pursuant to Mayor Zimmer's unlawful policy terminated Director Garcia employment. Director Garcia’s termination enabled Mayor Zimmer and the Defendants to obtain control of the HHA and further implement her discriminatory housing policies. 72. After Director Garcia was terminated, the Defendants replaced him with Richard Fox, a white male responsible for $17.7 million mismanagement of expenditures in his previous housing authority job. Upon information and belief, Fox was let go from his executive director position as a Stamford housing authotity after a $17.7 million in unexplained expenses were incurred between 2008 and 2010. A HUD audit report declared that lack of oversight by Fox was responsible for the massive losses. COUNT ONE NEW JERSEY CIVIL RIGHTS ACT NJS.A. 1026-2, ef seq. 73. Plaintiff repeats and realleges the allegations of each and every paragraph of the Complaint, including those contained in any other count, as fully set forth herein, 74, Pursuant to Mayor Zimmer's policy, custom and practice to gain and maintain political power in Hoboken, the Defendants implemented a political patronage system or “pay to play” to reward Mayor Zimmer's political supporters while punishing those who failed to support Mayor Zimmer or her policies. 75. Mayor Zimmer directly or through other government officials loyal to her, punished and retaliated against those individuals who did not support her politically. 7 76. Pursuant to that official policy. custom, and practice, Defendants, acting under color of law, unlawfully terminated Plaintiff because of the exercise of his constitutionally protected activities under New Jersey's Constitution, Article 1, Sections 6 and 18, namely the right to be free from any political affiliation and freedom to express one’s political views, opinions and sentiments to one’s governmental representatives without fear of threats, intimidation, and/or retaliation, 77. The Defendants were acting in concert with each other to deprive Director Garcia of his constitutional rights secured under the New Jersey Constitution, 78. Plaintiff's constitutionally protected activities, as alleged herein, were the substantial and motivating factor for Defendants’ retaliatory conduct. 79. Alternatively, those Defendants who could have stopped the unlawful Violations of Plaintiffs civil rights are liable based on their willful indifference and failure to intervene to stop said civil rights violations, 80. ‘As a direct and proximate cause of the aforementioned retaliatory conduct, Plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer economic, emotional, and psychological damages in an amount to be determined by a jury. Because of Defendants Mayor Zimmer, Chairwoman Wefer, and Vice-Chairman Mello’s willful and malicious conduct, Plaintiff seeks punitive damages against these Defendants in their individual capacity in an amount to be determined by a jury. WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff demands judgment against the Defendants, jointly and severally, for the following relief: a, Compensatory Damages; 18 b. Punitive Damages only as to the named individual defendants ¢. Attomey’s fee and costs of suit, 4, Reinstatement, e. Any further relief that the Court deems equitable and just. u COUNT TWO NEW JERSEY LAW AGAINST DISC S.A, 10:5-1, et sea. 81. Plaintiff repeats and realleges the allegations of cach and every paragraph of the Complaint, including those contained in any other count, as fully set forth herein. 82. Defendants, acting in concert with each other, discriminated against the Plaintiff in the terms and conditions of his employment by terminating his employment because of his race and/or ethnicity 83. The Defendants, including Mayor Zimmer, Chairwoman Wefer and Vice- Chairman Mello, jointly participated in the decision to terminate Plaintiff's employment. 84. Defendants actions were taken in violation of New Jersey Law Against {§ 10:5-1 et seq. and have caused Plaintiff to suffer economic, Discrimination, emotional and psychological damages in an amount to be determined by a jury. WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff demands judgment against the Defendants for the following relief: ‘Compensatory Damages; b, Punitive Damages. including treble damages; c. Attorney’ fee and costs of suit; 19 d. Reinstatement; €. Such other and further relief that the Court deems equitable and just. UL. COUNT THREE NEW JERSEY LAW AGAINST DISCRIMINATION NwJ.S.A. 10:5-1, et seq. Aiding and Abetting 85, Plaintiff repeats and realleges the allegations of each and every paragraph of the Complaint, including those contained in any other count, as fully set forth herein. 86. Defendants, Mayor Zimmer, Chairwoman Wefer and Vice Chairman Mello, acting in concert with each other, discriminated against the PlaintifT in the terms and conditions of his employment by terminating his employment contract. 87. Mayor Zimmer, Chairwoman Wefer, and Vice-Chairman Mello jointly participated in the decision to terminate Plaintiff's employment, 88. Plaintiff's termination was part of Mayor Zimmer’s retaliatory scheme of discrimination and marginalization of minorities, including persons of Puerto Ricans end ispanic descent. 89. Chairwoman Wefer and Vice-Chairman Mello substantially and actively participated in Mayor Zimmer's discriminatory and retaliatory scheme to terminate Plaintiff, 90. Defendants actions were taken in violation of New Jersey Law Against 10:5-1 Discrimination, N.J. g. and have caused Plaintiff to suffer economic, emotional and psychological damages in an amount to be determined by a jury. 20 WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff demands judgment against Defendants for the following relief: a. Compensatory Damages; b. Punitive Damages; c. Reinstatement; 4, Attomey’s fee and costs of suit; e, Any further relief that the Court deems equitable and just, Iv OUNT FOUR, NEW JERSEY LAW AGAINST DISCRIMINATION NS.A. 10:5-1, et seq. Retaliation, 91. Plaintiff repeats and realleges the allegations of each and every paragraph of the Complaint, including those contained in any other count, as fully set forth herein. 92. Defendants unlawfully retaliated against the Plaintiff because of his complaints of unlawful discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity as alleged in his complaint and amended complaints filed in judicial proceedings. 93. Defendants, acting in concert with each other, retaliated against the Plaintiff in the terms and conditions of his employment by terminating his employment contract, 94. Defendants actions were taken in violation of New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. § 10:5-1 et seq. and have caused Plaintiff to suffer economic, emotional and psychological damages in an amount to be determined by a jury. WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff demands judgment against the Defendants for the following relief: 21 Compensatory Damages; b. Punitive Damages, c. Reinstatement; d.—Attorney’s fee and costs of suits e. Such other and further relief that the Court deems equitable and just. bd COUNT FIVE BREACH OF CONTRACT 95. Plaintiff repeats and realleges the allegations of each and every paragraph of the Complaint, including those contained in any other count, as fully set forth herein. 96. Defendant HHA, acting in concert with each other, breached Plaintiff's employment contract by failing to comply with the HHA resolution passed on August 4, 2014 terminating Plaintiff's employment contract pursuant to Article IV(c) (See Attached Exhibit) 97. Insaid Resolution, the HHA agreed to pay Plaintiff *s salary equal to 120 days of Plaintiff's salary. 98. _ In said Resolution, the HHA also agreed to pay Plaintiff all of his “unused sick, personal. and vacation days Plaintiff is owed in accordance with the Contraet and personnel policy for the Board’s approval at its next regularly scheduled meeting.” 99. Despite the clear and unambiguous language of HHA’s own Resolution, the HHA, acting in concert with the other named Defendants, have breached said mnused sick, personal, contractual obligation with Director Garcia by failing to pay his “ and vacation days. 100, As adirect and proximate result of Defendant's breach, Defendants caused economic harm to Plaintiff's employment. 101. Asa direct and proximate result of Defendants’ actions, Plaintiff has suffered economic and emotional damages in an amount to be determined by a jury. ‘demands judgment against Defendant for the following: WHEREFORE, Plainti ‘a. Compensatory damages in an amount to be determined by a jury; b. Interest from the date of entry of judgment at a rate of percent per annum; c. Punitive damages; d. Costs of suit; and e. Any further relief that the court considers proper and just. VI COUNT SIX (Nu.S.A. § 2C:41-2(¢) - All Defendants) NEW JERSEY RICO 102. Plaintiff repeats and realleges the allegations of each and every paragraph count, as fully set forth herein. of the Complaint, including those contained in any oth 103, Itis unlawful under NJ.S.A, § 2C:41-2(c) for any person associated with any enterprise, the activities of which affect trade or commerce, to conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of such enterprises’ affairs through a pattern of racketeering, 104. Defendant Mayor Zimmer and the named defendants form an association in fact for the common and continuing purpose of consolidating Mayor Zimmer's political power through racketeering activities, including carrying to fruition her policies’ discriminatory vision for the future of the City of Hoboken, ‘The association in fact of these persons constitutes an enterprise within the meaning of N.ILS.A, 2C:41-1(¢) (the “Enterprise”), which functions as a continuing unit. 105, Defendants’ Enterprise affects commerce, business, and trade by virtue of its ability to exert political pressure to undermine the public bidding of contracts and award these contracts to political allies or patrons. By controlling public entities and the right to award these contracts, the Enterprise is able to channel public funds earmarked for construction, legal fees, and other public contracts aflecting commerce to private persons and/or entities through a pattern of racketeering 106. Mayor Zimmer, acting direetly through conspiracies with the named defendants or with other agents acting at her/their instruction, conducted and participated exprise. The Enterprise was and continued to in the operation and management of the out Mayor Zimmer's political policies and exert her political control be operated to cart over the City of Hoboken through racketeering activities. 107. Defendants aforementioned racketeering acts include Bribery (NIS.A. 2C:27-2), by direct solicitation for donations for a right to receive public rights or public 2€:20-5), by Mayor Zimmer threatening to take benefits, Theft by Extortion (NJ.S.A. employment against Director Garcia without regard to the parameters of applicable lew, Official Misconduct (N.J.S.A, 2C:30-2), by Mayor Zimmer’s exertion of control over persons and offices not within the scope of her official duties; and for corruption of a public resource under (N.JLS.A. § 2C:27-12), by Mayor Zimmer's commandeering of the HHA and HHA contracts, 24 108. Defendants have been and are able to commit the acts of racketeering forming @ pattern by virtue of their association with the Enterprise, and the acts of racketeering are related to the activities of, and are committed in furtherance of, the Enterprise. 109, Defendants individual acts make each principally liable for violations of N.S.A. 2C:41-1(), In addition, each of the Defendants knowingly and intentionally aided and abetted Defendants other than himselt/herselflitself whom were involved in the operation and management of the Enterprise in the commission of two or more predicate acts forming a pattern of racketeering activity with the intent of assisting the successful completion of said racketeering activity. A, 2C:41- 110, Plaintiff has been injured by reason of these violations of N. 1 (©), including injury by reason of the predicate acts constituting a pattern of racketeering activity. Plaintiff has suffered damages to date in an amount to be determined, including but not limited to, the losses incurred from Plaintif?'s termination and reputational harm suffered as a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ unlawful conduct. WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against the Defendants, jointly and severally, for the following relief: a. Trebled Compensatory Damages; b. Punitive Damages; c. Attorney's fees, interest, and costs of suits d. Such other and further relief as the Court deems equitable and just. vial COUNT SEVEN A, § 2C:41-2(d) — All Defendants) NEW JERSEY RICO (conspiracy) 111, Plaintiff repeats and realleges the allegations of each and every paragraph of the Complaint, including those contained in any other count, as fully set forth herein. 112, Defendants conspired to violate the provisions of N.1LS.A. 2C:41-1(e) in. gly agreed and the manner set forth in Count VII above. Each of the Defendants knowit conspired to commit or to assist in the commission of at least two predicate acts related to their association with the Enterprise set forth above with knowledge and intent that such acts were in furtherance of the conspiracy’s unlawful goals. Al] Defendants thereby individually violated N.J.S.A. § 2C:41-2(d). 113, Plaintiff has been injured in his business by reason of these violations of N \C:41-1(0), including injury by reason of the predicate acts constituting a pattern of racketeering activity. 114, Asa direct and proximate result of Defendants’ unlawful conduct, Plaintiff has suffered damages including, though not limited to, loss of employment, loss of business reputation, and other damages to date in an amount to be determined by a jury at the time of trial WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against the Defendants, jointly and severally, for the following relief: a, Trebled Compensatory Damages; b. Punitive Damages; ¢. Attorney's fees, interest, and costs of suit; 26 d. Such other and further relief as the Court deems equitable and just. DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL Plaintiff hereby demands a trial jury as to all issues, DATED: October 27, 2014 LOU! ZAYAS, ESQ. DESIGNATION OF TRIAL COUNSEL LOUIS A. ZAYAS, 1Q., is designated as trial counsel in this matter DATED: October 2 014 DEMAND FOR PRODUCTION OF INSURANCE AGREEMENTS Pursuant to R. 4:10-2(b), demand is hereby made that you disclose to the undersigned whether there are any insurance agreements or policies under which any person or firm carrying on an insurance business may be liable to satisfy all or part of a judgment which may be entered in the action or to indemnify or reimburse for payment made to satisfy the judgment. If so, please attach a copy of each, ar alternative state, under oath and certification: (a) policy number; (b) name and address of insurer; (c) inception and expiration dated; (d) names and addresses of all persons insured there 27 under; (e) personal injury limits; (f) property damage limits; and (g) medical payment limits. DATED: October 27, 2014 ZAYAS, ESQ. 28 ‘THE LAW OFFICES OF LOUIS A. ZAYAS A LINITED LIABILITY COMPANY Re, Tenguys Fax: : avast. i cou ey October 27, 284 Sy eiv Ee Bp pects SERVICE TEAM Soy {8901 Kennedy Boulevard 3° Foor North Bergen, NJ. 07047 Clerk, Civil Law Division ocr 29 2014 Hudson County Superior Court ee anoet 583 Newark Avenue surest ESON Jersey City, NJ 07506 conn SUNT NISION #5 Re; Carmelo-Garcia v, Dawn Zimmer, al. Dear Siv/Madam: af] el ee Enclosed please find arf original and one (1) copy of a complaint and Case Information Statement, along with the Firm’s check in the amount of $200.00. Kindly stamp the Complaint as “filed” and return a conformed copy to me in the self-addressed stamped envelope provided, Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office. Sincerely, LOUIS A-ZAYAS, LAZis