Hoboken 3rd Ward Councilman Russo files for over $2M bankruptcy, court records show


Hoboken 3rd Ward Councilman Mike Russo, along with his wife, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy just over a year ago, claiming $2,045,888 in total liabilities, according to court records.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“I went through a real rough time during COVID: I made financial decisions to keep my business open to make sure my employees were being paid. I did that at my expense, and unfortunately it didn’t work out. Like thousands of New Jerseyans, COVID really did a number on me,” Russo said over the phone.

He declined to get into specifics since the case is still pending.

Russo, the most senior member of the Hoboken council who was first elected in 2003, lists $1,379,626 in “nonpriority unsecured claims” and $666,261 in creditor claims “secured by property,” according to the 60-page filing from February 18th, 2022.

The application was prepared by Brian D. Winters of the Bradley Beach-based law firm Keith, Winters, Wenning & Harris and states that Russo has $167,568.57 in total property assets.

Personal assets listed include household goods, furnishings, clothing, wedding bands, and a Colt 1911 pistol for a total value of $15,500.

Additionally, the creditor claims secured by property come from two places: a $71,246.60 claim from the Santander Bank in Cherry Hill – who won a collections lawsuit against Russo – and a $362,520 judgement lien from a Belmar home owned by the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He lists $197,765 as the unsecured portion of the claim. As for the unsecured claims, the vast majority come from Blue Cross Blue Shield in the form of $1,050,000 in business debt – Russo, the chair of council’s finance subcommittee, worked as a physical therapist by trade.

The filing also indicates that this specific claim is being disputed and has no additional details.

Furthermore, two credit cards account for just under $44,000 in debt, while Russo says he makes $88,141.80 a year: $22,273.92 as a councilman (which doesn’t account for their raises that took effect last year) and $65,867.88 as an employee of the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission in Newark.

U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Gambardella was expected to hear the case this week, but she granted the government an order extending time to file a motion to dismiss the case, scheduling a hearing for the end of March.

The U.S. Department of Justice, through the Office of the U.S. Trustee, is challenging the filing since the majority of the claims are for business debt, as opposed to consumer debt.

“The Debtors [Russos] indicate that their debts are primarily consumer debts …  yet the debts listed … in the amount of $1,379,626.40 appear to be primarily non-consumer debt,” Tina L. Oppelt wrote in support to the OUST order extending time to file a motion to dismiss.

This is the fifth time since June 14th, 2022 that the OUST has filed such a motion.

Russo, the son of late former Mayor Anthony Russo and a potential 2025 mayoral candidate, reported $67,456.02 cash on hand – the most of any Mile Square City council member – in his latest campaign finance filing from October 22nd, 2022.

In that New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJ ELEC) filing, he lists a $1,300 monthly expenditure in July, August, and September for an office space at the Monroe Center in Hoboken.

In the bankruptcy, he lists his rent for the Monroe Center as one of his liabilities.

Rebovich Institute of New Jersey Politics Director Micah Rasmussen said that this matter could come into play in the non-partisan November 7th elections where Russo is seeking re-election, though several other factors will also come into play.

“Personal financial problems can absolutely become campaign problems, and they often do. The first prerequisite is that a candidate has to be facing a competitive opponent, obviously enough. No issue is going to matter if a candidate will be easily re-elected,” he said.

“But in a competitive race, the classic campaign question is: why should we trust you with our finances if this is how you’ve handled your own? And that can be valid, especially where public salaries are a part of the picture, which are stable and predictable. Voters will assess for themselves whether they believe the problems are something that could have happened to anyone or whether they were avoidable.”

Rasmussen added that this is a public proceeding, as is running for office, so it’s fair game on the campaign trail, though some candidates may consider it too personal to want to bring up.

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  1. Well ain’t that a shock to the Ravi-Russo System? Did Russo take Pandemic fed funds? If he did, that would cover his employee(s) and then some. It wouldn’t cover that MILLION DOLLAR Blue Cross Blue Shield bill.

    Maybe it’s time to resign Russo. You’ve been chair of the Belmar Beach House finance committee long enough.

    Is there a criminal investigation about that million dollars in Blue Cross Blue Shield because that sure sounds suspicious. Ravi-Russo Alliance suspicious.

  2. Spare us the pity party “Doctor” Mike!
    Physical therapists make a killing around here and you cpme up with COVID as an excuse for not paying your debts?
    What happened to PPE? SBA Loans? Bailout money?
    Time for the Russo Family and it’s crooked ghosts to leave this government.

    • Michael Russo isn’t making plans to exit government. He’s planning on holding the third ward council seat and then running for mayor. It’s his total income with the oh so odd Passiac Sewerage Authority gig. Would you expect anything less from Ravi’s BFF? Russo is unhappy about Ravi with this suddenly getting out early before council elections. Let’s see which one gets the last knife in.

    • Can we get a decent person, any decent person in the 3rd Ward to run and end this travesty? Don’t care about what deal Ravi and Russo have made. Time to go!

  3. “☎️ Ring”

    “Hi Mikie, this is your FBI handler.”

    “Your Solomon Dwek deal is officially rescinded. We’re going to need any tapes you have left with Ravi, Allen and the bar owners. Oh and Blue Cross Blue Shield is seeking federal prosecution for the insurance fraud. Would you like to surrender your gun now or wait until your conviction?”

  4. While I feel bad for councilman Russo on a personal level, the citizens of Hoboken really need to be asking whether he’s the best person to chair the Council’s Finance Committee.

    • Not sure which of these allies is more unhappy about this state of affairs, Russo or Ravi. Russo is at least trying to conduct himself with a little dignity in a bad situation. Ravi’s office is going beserk trying to deflect like crazed criminals! Hoboken is definitely getting a taste of what Ravi & his henchmen do for the Mile Square City!

    • Just another low in Hoboken and there have been some significant lows in this town’s government. Ravi and Russo cut a deal to make him City Council President, yet another low and here we are. What a tandem. This whole town is going to down the tubes. Where’s Dawn Zimmer? This is what she gave Hoboken as her staged departure.

  5. Takes a grifter to know one! Your horse lips suckled at the “pandemic fed” government teat yourself, grifting 2 separate PPP checks for your imaginary ‘job’ in “internet publishing!” lololol That “internet publishing” job keeps you sooooooo busy, you’re on these boards all day!

    PPP Check #1: $1,973.00
    (Nov. 3, 2021)Internet Publishing and Broadcasting and Web Search Portals (Sole Proprietorship)
    March 1, 2021

    PPP Check #2: $2,106.00
    (Nov. 3, 2021)Internet Publishing and Broadcasting and Web Search Portals (Sole Proprietorship)
    May 11, 2021


    • 1.the amounts you show are Pennie’s to the feds
      2. Russo owes millions
      3. Who would imagine reform supporters would defend a Russo with another federal and tax liability and a home with a Federal lien on it for a father who was stealing while Mayor ?

      Looks like Zimmer really made a mistake when she passed the torch to Ravi
      Ravi us burning down reform gains with the same torch

      • A filthy mouthpiece must be pointed out.

        Your debts are “pennies to the Feds?” No, those are taxpayer dollars – or 400,000+ pennies that don’t belong to you. You say it’s okay to steal Other People’s Money! Wrong! You are a thief criticizing a thief.

        • So Ravi’s overpaid incompetent gang is officially tossing Russo overboard. Just like how they did to Pupie after Ravi praised him to the heavens.

          Yes, you’re right 4:14, Zimmer really made a mistake, a terrible mistake When did she know about Ravi’s coordinated criminal flyer union local pals’ hate crime against Hoboken?

          Look at his operatives thinking everyone is one guy who lives rent free in their dopey heads. Talk about a guilty conscience. Russo should spill the beans!

    • So that’s 10,000 posts to the effect that “Ravi created the terror flier, I have zero proof, go ask someone at city hall”…

      Divided by about $4000…

      Equal 2 1/2 cents per post.

      A bargain! if only anyone saw it as something besides the pathetic rantings of a textbook case of dunning-kruger.

    • You think you are really crushing the Anti Russo posts with your attack on a basement lunatic blogger that everyone forgot about?

      Russo is a public double dipper. Your Avenging has gotten really rusty you old nance…

  6. Over a million in Billings to BC/BS? That’s major biz activity? What is the explanation for this? Was physical therapy booming during that time? Maybe the City Council should investigate the Finance Chair. Ravi’s BFF, they are more alike every day.

    • Does this partly explain the rush to get all those cannabis applications approved? As I recall, Russo was in favor of more than the six finally agreed to in the “Common Sense” revision. Why does he have a larger political fund than any other any other council person? Yes, he has been in office longer than anyone else — but he often runs unopposed. These, I believe, are fair questions, and I hope there are more of them leading up to this fall’s elections. Will the the voters of the 3rd Ward finally say, “enough?”

  7. Russo did not get a PPP loan but Horse got TWO! Took me 20 seconds to look that up. $1,973.00 and $2,106.

    That makes Horse a DOUBLE grifter! And too lazy to fact check!

    He’s suckling on TWO taxpayer teats, cause 2 teats are better than ONE! LOLOLOL Do you think he paid back your hard-earned tax dollars? Nope. And he never will!


  8. See Michael, you made a mistake and this is what Ravi does to you. Look how you tried to work with him and this is how he says thanks. Don’t let him get to you. You know about the Ravi Terror Flyer. We all do. Time to let all Hoboken know.

  9. First, Mike Russo is a Physical therapist. He’s not an MD.
    Few PT’s with a PHD , Doctorate or Masters use “Dr” so often as Councilman Russo.

    The joke is he has a failed practice financially , and he still brazenly touts himself and frequently says ” as a medical professional…”

    If he was so good he would not be bankrupt

  10. Hi all, especially Hoboken Sidney Powell (HoSiPo), for of course finding a way to make a physical therapist’s bankruptcy the fault of the mayor. I’m sure HoSiPo has evidence that Mayor Bhalla was the one behind the lab leak in Wuhan that led to the pandemic, which cause Russo’s bankruptcy…in the same way that he has evidence of who was behind the terrier flyer, woof woof! He’ll produce that evidence any day now, you just wait. It’s gonna be good, a blockbuster, fer sure! Any day now, a-n-y day.

    • The only terrier here is you, ya stinking mutt. Ravi made Russo the City Council President when all this shady activity was happening. Oh there’s evidence. Lots and lots of evidence. Get your resume updated and a lawyer.

    • Hobokens Sidney Powell has lots and lots of evidence… only you’ll have stick your arm elbow-deep up his a$$ to get it! That’s where he keeps it! So get your resume updated! Get a lawyer! Get a pair of rubber gloves! He’ll see you in court! The pickle ball court, that is!

      • Oh my, Hear That! We all know there a TON of manure there, but justice calls, and a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. The most important thing is the damning, irrefutable terrier flyer evidence will at long last, eventually, any day now, soon, maybe next week, at some point, be revealed!

        • Stop staring at it. Your 💩 will only stare right back at you. You’ll never accept any evidence. Now go shine my pumps for some legal bill money, mutley. The deadman’s switch is already set. You and Syb can’t stop it now. Good work, morons!

          • Is that you, HoSiPo (Hoboken Sidney Powell)? Well hello again, so nice to know you’re still dotting your Is and crossing your Ts in that LENGTHY document where you chronicle all the irrefutable evidence you have on the mayor and the terrier flyer. Woof woof, hope it’s housebroken!

            Please give us a few days advance notice when you plan to finally, eventually, some day, reveal this MOTHERLODE of irrefutable evidence. We all want to make sure we take the day off work (look it up) because it will surely take hours upon hours to read through and savor all the many many examples of irrefutable evidence.

            So when might that be, again?

  11. Fire Mike Russo!

    Russo owns a Colt 1911!
    How does his BFF Emily and her Moms Demand Action group feel now?
    Is he wearing it to City Hall?
    Is he wearing it to 10th and Willow?
    Is he wearing his gun to meetings at schools?
    Is he wearing it on HHA Grounds?

    Personal assets listed include household goods, furnishings, clothing, wedding bands, and a Colt 1911 pistol for a total value of $15,500

    Why does CC Russo need a handgun?

  12. From the Dad’s convictions to The Mother’s real estate and alleged actions in the Parking Authority down to the son Michael who was snagged on a FBI informant video lunch with Solomon Dweck and he is is still making excuses for shady dealings

    isn’t it time for Hoboken to get this corrupt legacy out of our government?

  13. It’s going to get interesting to watch Team Bhalla attack each other in 2024!

    Russo sold his soul to Ravi as he needs not only the health insurance but also the cash apparently. Remember when 1% Cohen was making fun of how little the City Council makes and Russo cut him a new one through all that back hair? That was great.

    And Ravi isn’t going to run anyone against Russo in November but once he’s locked in for another four years, expect Russo to turn as he has 2 years to make his case: Hoboken M/Commies social worker Emily vs. Old School Russo in 2025 – but Ravi will likely try to leave earlier so Emmy can inherit by default.

    We need some models and forecasting here:

    (1) Odds of anti-constitutional / 2A rights and “women’s” “rights” and longer runways vs. Colt 1911 BNR for mayor in 2025?

    (2) Odds of Ravi actually going through with a lawsuit against PSEG that will expose his own administration’s failure/incompetence?

    (3) Odds of crazy cat blogger GA getting involved despite the most assuredly pleas from her husband and daughter?

    (4) Odds of Phil staying in Hoboken after he gets back hair shaved by his neighbors who all absolutely despise him turning out for Liz?

    (5) Odds of Jim following Bhalla chain of command orders vs. trying to appease his wife’s desires to not get caught up in this corruption?

    Get the popcorn. Team Bhalla is about to implode!

    • (1) Odds that Noodles is a solitary, underemployed incel with an aversion to the human touch (except for his own).

      (2) Odds that Noodles sleeps alone- except for his inflatable gf who never says no.

      (3) Odds that Noodles drinks booze in excess or daydreams about drinking booze in excess.

      (4) Odds that Noodles has so much free time he ruminates on Hoboken politics all day, cursing as he sticks pins in his Bhalla Admin voodoo doll collection (that he made).

      (5) Odds that Noodles resents that his peers have wives, husbands, children, homes, jobs, interests, etc , and other ingredients of a full life, while he is a solitary, underemployed incel with an aversion to the human touch.

      What are those odds? Pretty good! Get your popcorn!

      • All that noise in response but Noodles hit nothing but net!
        That’s some damn good Noodles in the know. Poor Little Emily, now she gets a glimmer of what Hoboken government used to be all about with the Russo Klan leader Ravi told her to get entangled with but…. But Jim Doyle knew better. How do you sleep with yourself, Jim? You’re just a sideshow piece to the destruction of Reform and you stood by while Ravi & Russo called the shots in a deal from hell.

        Crazy Cat Blogger, Sybil won’t be pleased with these facts but Ravi & Co. can pay her to chair the Ravi-DeFusco Kickoff coming soon. 🤣😱🐸