FBI agent attends West New York Board of Ed meeting
An agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation was among those who attended the West New York Board of Education meeting on Wednesday night, town officials confirmed, although the reason for the visit is not clear.
The FBI agent sat in the audience during the meeting and several board members introduced themselves to him before he left.
Although the city would not officially speculate on the incident, insiders think the FBI might have been receiving a number of anonymous tipster and may have wanted to come to see what actually goes on at a meeting.
This also comes two weeks prior to a critical board election and someone, insiders believe, may have wanted to raise suspicion in voters’ minds about the current board.
The board has been under a microscope after the state Department of Education released a scathing report last year, suggesting that some allegations of political inference by Mayor Felix Roque should be investigated by the state Attorney General’s office.
“Nobody really knows why the FBI came,” said Freeholder Jose Munoz, who is a critic of the current administration and is among those who successfully pushed to get an elected board. The district will have two elections, one later this month and another in April that will determine the eventual make up of the board.
Both Munoz and WNY Commissioner Count Wiley are backing candidates who are not considered in line with Mayor Roque, who previously appointed members to the board.
A state report said there was suspicion of political interference from Roque on the board, including favoritism in hiring and promotions and political retribution against those perceived to be aligned with political opponents. The report is based on unsubstantiated claims made by employees during a site visit by representatives from the state.
Local Assembly members sworn in
Carmelo Garcia from Hoboken was among six Hudson County residents sworn-in during the New Jersey General Assembly reorganization meeting on Jan. 14. The afternoon ceremony at the War Memorial marked the commencement of the 216th Legislature. He will represent the 33rd District, which includes a portion of Jersey City, Hoboken, Union City, and Weehawken.
Garcia, along with Raj Mukherji from Jersey City, are beginning their first term in the state Assembly after being elected in November.
They join veteran Hudson County Assembly members Jason O’Donnell and Charles Mainor (31st Dist.) who represent half of Jersey City and Bayonne, and Assembly members Angelica Jimenez and Vincent Prieto (32nd district) who represent Secaucus, North Bergen, West New York, Guttenberg and western Hudson County.
Prieto will also serve as the speaker for the State Assembly, one of the two most powerful posts in the state legislature.
Prieto is currently assigning committee posts to various assembly members. O’Donnell will return to the Labor Committee, Financial Institution Committee and Housing and Urban Development Committee. Other committee assignments are to be announced shortly.
Volunteers needed at New Jersey Blood Services
New Jersey Blood Services, which supplies blood products and services to 60 hospitals throughout the state, is in need of volunteers at blood drives.
“The blood service volunteer is an integral member of the collection team, whose task it is to assist donors with registration, escorting, and canteen duties, and to watch for post-donation reactions,” said R. Jan Zepka, manager of community relations.
Volunteers should have the ability to relate to the public, be able to perform different jobs as needed, and have the willingness to follow rules.
For additional information, contact Zepka at (732) 616-8741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hudson County Animal League hosting flea market in Bayonne
The Hudson County Animal League will host a flea market at the old fire house and senior center, 27th Street and Broadway in Bayonne, on Feb. 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tables are available to rent for $10 each.
For more information or to rent tables, call Chris at (201) 437-8732.