Hoboken’s Bhalla selects recent running mate, lawyer as his chief of staff


Hoboken Mayor-elect Ravi Bhalla has selected his recent running mate and attorney John Allen as his chief of staff and he will serve in the post for Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s final month in office. 

John Allen

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“John will bring dedication, energy and smarts to City Hall. I am very pleased that he is coming on board,” Bhalla said in a statement.

“I am looking forward to helping to implement Ravi Bhalla’s vision and plans for Hoboken. It is a tremendous opportunity to serve the City I live in and love,” added Allen.

Allen, an attorney at Schenck, Price, Smith & King, LLP, ran with Bhalla’s ticket on November 7th and ended up finishing in fifth place, 361 votes behind Councilwoman-at-Large-elect Vanessa Falco – who ran on 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco’s ticket.

He will begin his new role in the mayor’s office effective December 4th, meaning he will oversee the end of Zimmer’s second term.

“In consultation with Mayor-Elect Bhalla, I am appointing John Allen as Chief of Staff,” Zimmer said in a separate statement.

“John will help ensure that there is a smooth transition between administrations and will be a tremendous asset to Mayor Bhalla and the City of Hoboken.”

Zimmer has been without a chief of staff since late August, when Vijay Chaudhuri stepped down to manage Bhalla’s mayoral campaign.

Many expected him to resume the COS role under the Bhalla administration, but he has instead decided to pursue a “new public service opportunity.”

“Vijay did a tremendous job as my campaign manager, combining skill with a work ethic second to none.  I wish him well in his new venture and will continue to value his advice,” Bhalla added. 

As expected, DeFusco, who previously sounded off on Allen, was less than impressed about the new hire.

“Given Mayor-elect Bhalla’s status as an attorney at a very politically-connected law firm that has millions of dollars in government contracts, many Hoboken residents are concerned about the potential conflicts of interest that could arise when clients of the firm and the city become involved in negotiations or other sensitive matters,” DeFusco said in a statement.

“Hiring another politically-connected attorney in his former running mate John Allen does nothing to address those concerns, and in fact raises even more questions that have to be answered. While the Chief of Staff position is not subject to Council approval, I believe that residents deserve a full accounting of both Mayor-elect Bhalla and John Allen’s ties to major entities that our city does business with and I plan to pursue these issues further.”

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  1. Great pick. Will inevitably be falsely called a “pay to play lawyer” by sour-grapes operatives from one of the campaigns that came up short.

    But a win for Hoboken nonetheless!

  2. Came so close to fooling just enough and the P2P deal would be done.
    Ok, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time but Ravi made the deal work.

    On behalf of the law partners at the firm Snake & Snake Pricing, thank and we’re going to see Hoboken contracts on the northern NJ trading block.

    Vijay is all set up and will be forging on the public tit so not to worry. We have a lot more deals to use Hoboken coming up!

    Y’all gonna love the NJ Transit cranes and Ravi Bhalla Towers.

  3. Has anybody ever seen a more classless losing candidate than DeFusco? We’ll see how long it takes before the folks he thinks are his Council allies toss him into well deserved oblivion. It’s possible to gain stature despite losing an election. Mike had the chance to do that but he blew it. Every time he opens his mouth he grows smaller and smaller.

      • Threatening frivolous lawsuits is intimidation to suppress political discourse, a civil rights violation. A small settlement in the six-figure range would probably smooth out the victim’s emotional distress you have inflicted. If not, please sweep out the mounds of dog feces, fumigate your condo and vacate the jalopy from the parking lot.

    • Ravi loves to make transactional deals. The law firms cut the deal but it didn’t fly but hey, he didn’t let it die there. He installed the guy in City Hall.

      It’s like planting a mercenary with a flag. By hook or crook these deals gotta go down. Wait until they get the big deal done for NJ Transit!

  4. Jake better quit with the puns or he’s going to be facing some sore evaluations bills that don’t get paid by the Hha
    He can carpool with GA to the court house
    Oh wait, he lives in PA and she lives in a mold covered cave/cabin on willow

    Bombs away baby

    • Discovery is a two way street. When can we come in to measure your windows for blinds? Please clean up the dog feces strewn about your condo. You need to keep it nice and clean for us.

    • Bring bags of money for your lawyers with you to court. You will need it, prob $500K. Keep the condo nice and clean. Please fumigate, and sweep out the piles of dog feces. And move your jalopy out of the parking lot- we get your space, too.

        • Do you always talk a but yourself in the third person? You mean “my condo” is worth almost a million. Let’s do the math.

          Tony’s condo imagined value: $1M
          Tony’s actual estimated condo value (including alleged dog feces): <50% of imagined value

          After you file your SLAPP suit, we'll see what it gets at the sheriff's auction.

  5. This could be the most asinine set of comments I’ve ever read, why don’t all you people get a life. Start with maybe a job (for some of you), or a girlfriend (for most of you…probably a long shot, I know, but at least worth a try, right?). High school ended decades ago, put on the big boy pants and grow up.

    • Unfortunately the same 8-9 people make comments like this. What is sad is that yes they are adults, some have visible positions here in town and some are married to people with very visible positions. Unfortunately it stops being funny when they slander people. I almost never comment here but encourage the majority of people in this town not to take anything said in comments or on a blog at face value as it is easy to believe the worst but often the people writing it are trying to slam people based on rumor and make it sounds like it’s true. It’s hard to stop it legally but it does have a terrible effect. And as you can see it is not coming from just one side. I HOPE that Ravi would not put anyone in a position of trust who would be doing this kind of thing.

      • It’s hard to believe anybody would think that the comment section of any blog would be an effective forum to address “the majority of people in town.” But I give you credit for recognizing that the stuff written by bloggers like Roman Brice and Kurt Gardiner are just trying to slam people based on rumor that they try to make sound as if it’s true.

        But neither of them is married so I’m not sure why you mentioned someone married in your post.

        Fortunately for the town the recent election has exposed them as unimportant frauds so I don’t think you have to worry about a majority or even a tiny minority of people in town taking them seriously.

        Happy Thanksgiving.

      • It’s the Bonkers for Bhalla people and people connected to the Mayor’s Office who are defaming like it’s their last day on the planet.

        Can you imagine what they’d do if Ravi couldn’t flip the election with that flier at the end?

        • u say bhalla is behind the fliers which is a crime. but have no proof.

          u say allen’s job is pay to play which is a crime. but have no proof.

          u say other people are guilty of defamation?

          with u around kurts blog will be gone by christmas.

  6. Congratulations to John Allen. What he could not accomplish at the ballot box he accomplished by getting hired. Chief of Staff positions are political ones so this is not too out of the ordinary. Except: I will put this question out there – Why is John Allen giving up a lucrative law career in a prestigious law firm to do a job that can not pay nearly as well and what it leads to at best is a part time job in the NJ Assembly?

    Just think about it folks. It is all the resistance asks. link: http://hobokenresistance.com

    • Allen’s associate salary ain’t that lucrative. About the same as he’ll be getting from the City. Which would you rather do, numbnuts resistance? Be a grunt in a big law firm or the Chief of Staff to the Hoboken mayor? Just think about it, folks. That’s all I ask.

      Please, please come to my Web site, please. I only have 3 crazies and a city councilwoman.


      • It would depend boob. I thought he was some hotshot lawyer. You mean Ravi after bragging about the importance intellectual capital only picks a low level associate with no path to partnership?

        Well that explains that. Nothing like political favors leading to mediocrity based on your profound analysis. Perhaps he will grow into the job. Nice insults by the way. Keep up the good work representing Ravi with such dignity and class

    • you ask people to think but you don’t think. he’s been in public service since his early 20s. maybe he wants to serve his community. maybe everything isn’t a big cash grab.

      • John Allen did nothing in Hoboken on a single issue.
        He was selected and now installed in City Hall as part of another back room deal.

        Stop pissing on our legs and telling us it’s raining.
        Only you are dumb enough to think anyone is buying your Sybil’s Cave BS here.

    • Can’t think of any motive other than pay to play for public service. You phrase the question to lead to that conclusion but pretend you’re just being open minded. You don’t even know the man but you are ready to brand him a criminal. This isn’t about him. It’s about what you have become. A kinder gentler knee-jerk hater.

  7. Shouldn’t Jake Striver keep quiet and see that almost seven figure handout to Carmelo completed before he’s threatening others about lawsuits?

    Kinda ridiculous for him to be threatening Tony when he and Stan Grossbard are handing Hoboken taxpayers an almost seven figure bill for their stupidity in emails about Carmelo. Jagoffs

    • Tony threatened FIRST: “See you in court Cave dwellers! Any day… Knock Knock… 4 more years of hell!”

      “Jake” did not threaten Tony. He showed Tony his future when he “sees them in Court cave dwellers!” Can I get in on that action? I’ll be at the sheriffs auction for Tony’s furniture to flip on eBay. I hear he’s got a lot of replicas.

      Just think about it folks. Its all tge boob resistance asks.

      Please please come to my Web site, PLEASE. I need traffic and comments. So far ive only got only 3 madmen and our ADVOCATE Council woman Tiffanie Fisher!


  8. Typical Bhalla supporter from Sybill’s cave- they don’t like the opinion of someone else so they lob insults and avoid the topic because they can’t defend their position. Sad. Very sad.

    Why did John Allen leave a lucrative law career? It’s a fair question.

  9. Can you folks try to stay on topic? It’s annoying when you hijack an article and start attacking each other instead of commenting on the topic at hand. Some of us actually come on here to read the articles and sometimes offer comment relative to the article. Thank you

  10. Is it true that Stan, Fake and Spawn are settling with Carmelo Garcia ?
    Over a million to hush up the sweat bag and the rambling mouth from having to take the stan… I mean Stand?

  11. Hadn’t heard that. I hope for your sake it’s true though since lying about it could put that condo even more at risk. I wonder what tickets to your deposition will sell for?

    • There you go again- Lane/Mason fan club recovery addict still can’t shake the Mason ways..threatening to take someone’s condo usually leads to you losing your own condo or inherited old house on PA…

      Jake,STAliN and Dawn are all public figures. They can be questioned and if someone believes it to be true it’s a defense… But given the track record of the current defendants there’s no way they are suing anyone anytime soon.