United States District Court Judge Joel Pisano handed down a 10-page decision on the lawsuit filed by former committeewoman and Board of Education employee Christina Boesch, who alleged that many of her constitutional rights were violated when she tried to run for re-election to the county committee in June, 2000.
In his decision, Pisano lambasted the lawsuit, stating that it was a "meritless, frivolous claim."
"In spite of pleading violations of nine constitutional amendments and four federal statutes, the plaintiff [Boesch] fails to state a single viable claim," Pisano stated in his decision. "She has not brought forth a single fact that is worth review, that her rights were violated."
In the lawsuit, Boesch claimed her constitutional rights were violated under several laws, including the First, Fourth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendment rights.
Pisano came down hard on the claim that her 13th Amendment rights were violated.
"Had [Boesch] or her counsel [Sylvia Brandon Perez] taken the time to read the United States Constitution, they would have discovered that the 13th Amendment prohibits slavery or involuntary servitude except as punishment for a crime of which the party is convicted. [Boesch] has not brought forth one fact, or raised one allegation, from which this court could infer that she was enslaved."
Pisano also issued a stern opinion as to the case appearing in federal court. "The court is at a loss to explain how [Boesch's] counsel could assert such a claim, given that this law has not been in effect for over 50 years," Pisano stated.
Boesch was a long-time member of the Democratic county committee who was seeking re-election in the June 2000 primary, when she was allegedly told by representatives for Sacco that her services "were no longer required."
Bewildered as to why she was not being permitted to run for re-election on Sacco's ticket, she alleged election fraud, stating that the petitions of the two people eventually elected to the committee, Lillian Duque and Edward Giunta, were filed after deadline and her petition was apparently tampered with by having names crossed out and deleted.
Boesch, who works as a secretary at Franklin School, is the sister of long-time Sacco foe Edward "Bo" Scannavino, who has publicly denounced Sacco, accusing corruption at practically every Board of Commissioners meeting.
Boesch first took her case to Hudson County Superior Court, where it was heard by Judge Arthur D'Italia, who determined that Boesch's name should appear on the ballot as an independent against Duque and Guinta. She lost by a total of six votes in the primary.
Not satisfied with the Superior Court ruling, Boesch filed her lawsuit in Federal Court, with all of the claims listed above.
Surprised by decision
Boesch said she was surprised by Pisano's decision. "To tell you the truth, I'm a little shocked," Boesch said. "I had 13 counts against them and [Pisano] threw out the case on one count. The case never came to court and only one person went to deposition. A legal document was forged, after it was notarized and signed. That has to be illegal. There were Republicans' names that appeared on a Democrat's petition."
Boesch was asked if she understood the judge's decision about her claims.
"I don't know the law," Boesch said. "I'm just a regular citizen, a housewife, and a grandmother. I know what was done to me and I know what was done was wrong."
Boesch said she was disappointed with the advice given to her by her attorney, Brandon Perez, who did not return phone calls by press time.
Township attorney Herb Klitzner believes the judge's decision vindicates the town.
"You rarely see a United States Federal Court judge come back with an opinion so severe," Klitzner said. "To read the opinion, you can see that it was so clearly frivolous. I said so at the time that the suit was filed. It was so conclusive that suing someone in federal court should not be taken so frivolously. I appreciate the judge's decision."
In light Pisano's decision, Klitzner said the township will try to recover more than $100,000 in legal fees from Boesch.
"Because she wound up with so many defendants in the suit, we wound up with four different law firms representing our people," Klitzner said. "With the legal bills so high, we're going to move to seek to recover the fees from the plaintiff."
Despite the ruling from Pisano, Boesch said she will take the case to Appellate Court and the Supreme Court, if necessary.
"I want people to know the truth," Boesch said. "I can't believe that every court will throw this case out. I feel I have a good case here and I fully intend to explore every possibility of an appeal."