A Hudson County Superior Court judge dismissed former Hoboken Police Chief Anthony Falco’s political retaliation suit against the city and ex-Mayor Dawn Zimmer last week.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Judge Martha D. Lynes threw out the case in its entirety on Thursday, just days before the trial was scheduled to begin, the city announced on Friday.
A virtually identical lawsuit filed by Falco in Federal District Court was dismissed with prejudice on October 20, 2017, as Hudson County View previously reported.
The lawsuit was very personal for the Zimmer family, with Falco alleging that Zimmer and the city retaliated against Falco because he was unable to ever solve a 2005 hit-and-run case that took the life of her father-in-law, Henry Grossbard.
“I’m gratified that this saga is finally over in favor of Mayor Zimmer and Hoboken,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.
“Two Judges, a Federal District Court Judge, and a Hudson County Superior Court Judge have each ruled that this case lacked a legal basis to proceed. It is unfortunate that Hoboken’s taxpayers were forced to pay the costs associated with defending this frivolous lawsuit. I hope that this result sends the message that the city will not cave to baseless, unsubstantiated claims and will rigorously defend against them.”
In a statement exclusively sent to HCV, Zimmer slammed Falco and his attorney, Jason Orlando, for keeping the city tied up “with frivolous claims” for over five years.
“Unscrupulous attorneys too often misuse our well intentioned civil rights laws to attempt to enrich themselves and their clients with frivolous claims such as these, clogging up our courts and costing New Jersey taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees each year,” she began.
“This tactic often succeeds, as substantial undeserved settlements are paid in order to avoid skyrocketing legal fees. Reforms are badly needed to ensure that our civil rights laws continue to protect the rights of the real victims of misconduct, while also protecting taxpayers from those who abuse the system for profit.”
Orlando did not return an email seeking comment.