Report: Two unidentified Hoboken officials mentioned in FBI probe are identified
Oct 12, 2012 | 5676 views | 14 14 comments | 68 68 recommendations | email to a friend | print

HOBOKEN -- The city’s former information technology specialist, Patrick Ricciardi, was arrested last November after the U.S. Attorney’s Office charged that he allegedly kept a file of City Hall e-mails and leaked them to other officials in town, possibly giving out sensitive information that could affect politics or union negotiations.

On Friday, a local news website, Patch, reported that former Hoboken Business Administrator Arch Liston testified as part of a civil service hearing that the two officials who allegedly received the emails were a former high-ranking fire official and a former high-ranking public safety official.

The report appeared to confirm rumors that have spread around the city for almost a year as to who the two unnamed officials were.

Last November, the FBI said that Ricciardi had forwarded the mayor’s e-mails to at least one current city official and one former city official.

According to the complaint from the U.S. Attorney’s office, Ricciardi admitted to the FBI that he created an archive file containing e-mails that had been sent among the mayor and two high-ranking mayoral aides. He then allegedly slipped some of those e-mails to two other officials.

Ricciardi was charged with accessing a computer without authorization, interception of wire and electronic communication, and disclosure of intercepted wire and electronic communications. In November, he appeared in federal court in Newark to hear his charges. He faces a potential maximum jail sentence of five years for each count if convicted, and did not enter a plea.

Matthew Reilly, deputy public affairs officer for the United States Attorney’s office, district of New Jersey, told the Reporter for a followup story in July that the case was ongoing. “We’re still investigating,” he said.

The FBI became aware of the situation after Zimmer’s administration became suspicious of information that was apparently leaked to others. City Hall then conducted an internal security audit in early 2011, which revealed the suspicious files in Riccardi’s computer, according to the FBI complaint.

City Hall notified the Bureau of the situation, which led to their 2011 investigation and arrest of Ricciardi.

Friday morning, Liston was testifying in the termination hearing of former City Hall employee Jonathan Cummins, Ricciardi’s assistant, who was terminated in 2011 and is appealing, acording to the Patch story. It was as part of Liston's testimony that he mentioned the two names of the officials who allegedly received leaked emails, according to Patch.

The federal government’s complaint described the two officials who received the e-mails as “a City municipal official” and “a former City municipal official.” The complaint alleges that the e-mails were forwarded to those officials’ e-mail accounts at those officials’ request.

Third person probably not investigated

The documents also refer to a third unnamed “City municipal employee” who saw the leaked e-mails and brought hard copies to the attention of certain Mayor’s Office employees around Feb. 1 of last year. Sources believe that this official still works in City Hall and is not being investigated because he was the one who brought the matter to light.

The FBI complaint said, “Defendant Ricciardi created the Archive File, and then directed the Intercepted E-Mails to the Archive File, so that he could ‘spy’ on the Mayor and the Mayor’s Office Employees, and determine whether his job was secure. Defendant Ricciardi forwarded certain Intercepted E-Mails to Individual 1 and Individual 2 [allegedly] at the request of Individual 1 and Individual 2.”

Watch hudsonreporter.com for more when the details of the testimony are confirmed.



Comments
(14)
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WESTY
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October 16, 2012
T. Mcdonald of the Jersey Journal today call for an investigation of Fire Chief Blohm's involvement in this email hacking case.
truthmeter
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October 14, 2012
a former high-ranking fire official?
WESTY
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October 14, 2012
a former Safety Director perhaps?
WESTY
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October 13, 2012
I am sure people who are interested will just go to Hoboken PATCH and read Claire Moses story names and all.

I have a feeling this story will will expand and be around for a long while.

Hopefully the Hoboken Reporter will catch up soon.

VoteNoOnQuestion2
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October 13, 2012
The last line says they need to confirm the details. I would assume that since the story makes it clear they got information from Patch and were not in the room, they might gather information or contact them to publish their defense and then write the promised "more." It is what I would hope for from them and would expect nothing less than this type of care if they were not in the court room first hand. If I don't see anything next week's newspaper then I too will question it. We have different kinds of news in this town and I am always pleased to read your blog Kurt but my guess is that if you wrote about this, you did so not based on having been in the room but based on second hand information and that is fine. I would not want it in my local press though. Coming from a rent control issue perspective I have seen them print both sides of the issues not just one or the other . This story is less then 24 hrs old so why don't we give them some time to get more data which they generally do and exorcise the caution we need, We have an important vote coming up in five weeks and let's not forget about that.
CommentGrater
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October 13, 2012
nj.com has not written about this with or without the names.

Only an UNreputable media source would write about it without having been there.
WESTY
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October 14, 2012
nj.com covered the story and named names.

YourFavObserver
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October 15, 2012
"This story is less then 24 hrs old so why don't we give them some time to get more data..."

As in, let's wait until everyone else in town reports on the story then I guess we'll come back and see what The Reporter has to say about it. Also, the headline is hilarious, as it says the unidentified people are identified, and then the names aren't identified in the story. It's even misleading, saying Liston named a former fire official when the main story here is that the person in question is THE CURRENT FIRE CHIEF! Also, once again, there's no link giving credit to the story they're even citing. The Reporter has the arrogance of the NY Times with the coverage of Metro.

VoteNoOnQuestion2
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October 15, 2012
All I was saying is that I would wait a bit to jump down their throat. As you know, the HR is a weekly. I have seen them wait an extra day to cover a story and then cover it much better, including several tenant issues. Let's give them a chance as we did with NJ.com as they are a daily newspaper and even they did not publish the story until Sunday.
WESTY
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October 15, 2012
I wonder if anyone from the Hoboken Reporter found time to be in the room today ?
ReformerusG
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October 13, 2012
The names of the two public officials were stated in open court. Why won't the Hoboken Reporter list them? Are they still shilling for the Old Guard? Release the names.
WESTY
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October 13, 2012
Fear of the loss of a certain persons weekly ad revenues perhaps ?

In the Hoboken Patch report Angel Alicia and Hoboken Fire Chief Blohm were the names the Hoboken Reporter did not disclose as allegedly being sent the emails from Patrick Riccardi.

ReformerusG
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October 13, 2012
The names of the two public officials were stated in open court. Why won't the Hoboken Reporter list them? Are they still shilling for the Old Guard? Release the names.
WESTY
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October 12, 2012
Looks like Hoboken's Old Guard politicos have something else to worry about.