Jersey City developer withdraws suit that alleged public safety director’s aide stopped 2 projects

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A Jersey City developer has withdrawn a lawsuit that alleged an aide to the city’s public safety director stopped two development projects just eight days after the initial court filing.

126 Charles Street, one of the two properties names in Moshe Sugar’s lawsuit. Photo via Google Maps.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“The above-captioned matter is hereby withdrawn at this time without prejudice subject to plaintiffs’ right to re-file,” a notice of withdrawal of complaint filed yesterday says.

John Novak, the lawyer representing developer Moshe Sugar in the suit, told HCV that he was happy to reach an amicable outcome in short order.

“This was an order to show cause in a lawsuit for money damages. Kudos to attorney Phil Adelman who represented Jersey City in this matter, who was a professional and a gentleman. I think a lot of my colleagues in this profession can take a lesson from him, he was just very reasonable,” he said over the phone.

“We achieved an interim resolve in very short order and there’s no longer a need for an order to show cause and therefore I withdrew the lawsuit voluntarily,” also noting that Sugar’s two job sites are now moving forward.

The suit, filed on June 24th, claimed that Mike Manzo, an aide to Public Safety Director James Shea, was “misusing the power of his official position to deprive plaintiffs of their constitutionally protected property rights.”

Specifically, Sugar, through Novak, said that his two properties properly obtained traffic permits in November 2020, though the permit for 25 Waverly St. was accidentally posted at 126 Charles St.

While the mistake was corrected, the city was informed that the wrong permit had been posted and Manzo allegedly revoked the permits the both projects, shutting them down to “teach Moshe Sugar a lesson.”

The plaintiffs also claim that this was retaliation after they declined to “become friends” with Manzo and therefore suffered the “wrath of [his] heavy handedness.”

 

Editor’s note: This story was updated with a comment from Moshe Sugar’s attorney John Novak.