Christina Boesch, a long-time Democratic committeewoman, has filed a suit in federal court, which is scheduled to be heard in January, stating that Sacco used illegal tactics to have her removed from the Democratic ticket in April of 2000.
The case, which had already been thrown out of State Superior Court by Judge Maurice J. Gallipoli last year, was presented in front of U.S. District Court Judge Alfred Lechner, Jr., who heard the case for the first time in federal court in Newark Tuesday.
Boesch is being represented by attorney Robert Mayerovic of North Bergen.
Some of the witnesses expected to be called to testify in the case include Sacco and township attorney Herb Klitzner, who called the lawsuit "totally frivolous."
"The same or similar allegations that have been mentioned in this suit were brought to Superior Court and have been dismissed by Judge Gallipoli," Klitzner said. "If it was still pending in Superior Court, then it couldn't be heard in a second court. Nothing was done wrong. You can't make something out of nothing."
Boesch, who works for the Board of Education, stated that Sacco and seven other township officials "engaged in an unlawful conspiracy to commit voter fraud."
The suit alleges that Boesch, a committeewoman for more than 10 years, was replaced on the April, 2000 committee ballot illegally, replaced by the name of Lillian Duque, who also works for the Board of Education.
At the time, Boesch was told that her services were no longer needed, that the Democratic Organization was looking for "a Hispanic person" to run for the committee seat.
Boesch, who was then removed from the Democratic Organization ticket, lost in her bid for re-election by only 11 votes. Boesch was unsuccessful again when she ran again for her old seat three months ago.
The suit alleges that Boesch's nominating petition to run for re-election "was improperly and fraudulently altered after the [April 13, 2000] filing deadline by someone who crossed out the name of her former running mate, Edward Giunta."
The suit also says that acting Township Clerk Carol Fontana accepted another petition who paired Giunta with Duque after the filing deadline.
Duque, the suit further alleges, was promised "more money and better working hours" by Kathy Somick, who is Sacco's secretary at the Board of Education, if she would be willing to run with Giunta.
Sacco, Klitzner, Fontana, Giunta, Somick and Duque are all listed as defendants in the suit, along with Mike Meano, who was the one who informed Boesch that her services were no longer required as a committeewoman, and Geraldine Baker, who is a secretary for the township's Planning Board.
Claims there's tape
Mayerovic said that he has an audiotape that features Boesch speaking to Duque, who allegedly admits to committing the fraud. Boesch apparently secretly taped a conversation between herself and Duque. Mayervoic said that he hopes to be able to present the tape to Judge Lechner as part of evidence in the suit.
There is another angle to the suit. Boesch is the sister of longtime Sacco foe Edward "Bo" Scannavino, who regularly attends township commissioners' meetings to personally attack Mayor Sacco. Scannavino is a long-time associate to former North Bergen Commissioner Joseph Mocco, who is the brother of former Mayor Peter Mocco. Joseph Mocco was released from a federal penitentiary last year and has been making inroads to becoming active in political circles once again.
And it's never been a secret that there's no love between Joseph Mocco and Nicholas Sacco. They've been long-time political and personal enemies.
Boesch, who was unavailable for comment for this article, has said in the past that her lawsuits have nothing to do with her brother's political views.
"Bo is my brother and I love him, but Joe Mocco has nothing to do with me," Boesch said last year. "I've told Nick Sacco that I work for you and I'm loyal to you. Bo has even teased me for years, calling me a 'Sacco girl.' I'm not involved with Joe Mocco in any way. Sacco wanted me out for a reason and didn't give me a reason. He also didn't have the decency to tell me himself."
Scannavino, who has been arrested and charged with his attempts to disrupt the town meetings, has signs all over his home stating his belief that Sacco is corrupt.
Klitzner said that he will insist that "if the lawsuit isn't dropped or withdrawn, we will seek the payment of attorney's fees."
"This is an absolute waste of taxpayer dollars," Klitzner said. "The lawsuit has no merit. I don't want to comment on the motives for the suit, but we will have to wait and see what happens."