Assault charges against Stack dropped; trial date set for Roque and Wiley
Bergen County got a taste of North Hudson politics Thursday morning when both Union City Mayor and State Senator Brian Stack and West New York Mayor Felix Roque appeared consecutively in Superior Court in Hackensack to answer to separate criminal charges.
The simple assault charge filed against Stack by Ray Mitchell of Secaucus, who in December accused the mayor of choking him at a holiday party at Scheutzen Park in North Bergen, was dropped by Mitchell with prejudice within minutes. Presiding Judge Warren McGeady reminded Mitchell that if he dismissed the charge now, it could not be re-filed.
Stack has maintained since the incident that he never put his hands on Mitchell, and accused rival senator and North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco of orchestrating the event to discredit Stack. Sacco has denied Stack's accusation.
Stack’s lawyer, Dennis McAlevy, stated for the record that he was of the opinion that the charge was outlandish and politically motivated.
“It was a frivolous and false accusation that was made by the complainant,” McAlevy said after the proceedings. “There’s no question at all in my mind that he was acting on behalf of the political people that are objecting to Mayor Stack, and it’s just one of their underhanded tricks that has now backfired on them.”
Afterwards outside the courthouse, Mitchell said that he just wanted to put the incident behind him.
“Sometimes you have to forgive and forget,” he said.
Stack and Sacco themselves appear to be in a temporary truce as far as the Hudson County Democratic party is concerned. They are both running for State Senate in their respective districts in the Democratic primary in June.
As for West New York, it seems that Mayor Felix Roque and his rival Commissioner Count Wiley will ignore Mitchell’s example, as McGeady set a May 23 court appearance for a trial on the assault charge brought against Wiley by the mayor two months ago, as well as harassment charges filed by Wiley against Roque and against his aide, Richard Rivera, as a result of the same incident.
The incident which sparked all three charges took place at a recent Board of Commissioners meeting when Wiley allegedly bumped into Roque, who, with Rivera, allegedly responded with harsh remarks. Wiley’s assault charge carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and 6 months in jail, while the harassment charges filed against all three men could result in a $500 fine and 30 days in jail.
McGeady advised all three men to have their lawyers file special applications due to the fact that each complainant was also a defendant, in an effort to avoid any confusion at trial during cross-examinations. Wiley said that he would testify on his own behalf and present videotape as evidence, while Roque said he would call two witnesses and Rivera would call five.
Hudson County Chamber of Commerce holding healthcare roundtable
The Hudson County Chamber of Commerce announced this week that it will host a roundtable discussion for business owners and leaders interested in learning more about new initiatives designed to rein in the rising cost of healthcare premiums for employers. The event will be held on Wed. April 17 at 8:30 a.m. at the Jersey City Museum, located at 350 Montgomery St.
The goal of the roundtable is to provide businesses an opportunity to learn more about what is driving rising healthcare costs for employers and how local healthcare facilities are working to bring down those costs. The session will be moderated by Nicholas A. Chiaravalloti, Executive Director, Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership.
The panel will feature Joseph Scott, President and CEO, LibertyHealth; Susan Walsh, M.D., Medical Director, Accountable Care Organization, Jersey City Medical Center; Ward Sanders, President, New Jersey Association of Health Plans and Assemblyman Gary Schaer, Deputy Speaker.
“The rising cost of healthcare is of urgent concern for our members,” said Maria Nieves, the Chamber’s President and CEO. “We hope to launch a series of conversations with this event that focuses on how our members and employers generally can begin to control these costs while also continuing to provide quality benefits to their employees.”
“This is an opportunity to shed light on the emerging issues in healthcare not only in Hudson County but nationally as we prepare to implement health care reform,” said Scott. “Understanding the impact of existing models as well as new and innovative delivery models is essential to the viability of the business community in Hudson County. “
To register for this event, which is complimentary for members of the Chamber, visit www.hudsonchamber.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christ Hospital to hold info session for potential nursing students
The Christ Hospital School of Nursing (SON) will be hosting an information session on Wed. April 24 at 5 p.m. at the Christ Hospital School of Nursing building, located at 169 Palisade Ave. in Jersey City.
In cooperation with Hudson County Community College, the SON will be offering full-time day and part-time night divisions, as well as an accelerated LPN to RN program.
For questions or further information, contact the Christ Hospital SON at (201) 795-8360 or visit its website at www.ChristHospital.org.