Munoz, Roque, nix courtroom rematch, town settles superior court lawsuit


Those in West New York hoping for a courtroom rematch between former Freeholder Jose Munoz and Mayor Felix Roque are going to be sorely disappointed now that the town has settled their superior court lawsuit.


The settlement was unanimously approved (4-0), with no public inquiries on the matter, at the January 20th board of commissioners meeting – where Roque was absent.

The board went to a closed session to discuss legal matters including Munoz vs. Felix Roque, Joseph Roque and the Town of West New York.

According to the settlement, the town and its employees admit to no wrongdoing or liability in relation to the suit.

Filed back in February 2014, Munoz, through his North Bergen attorney Louis Zayas, alleges that his freedom of speech was violated and that he was also a victim of political retaliation for supporting Roque’s predecessor – Sal Vega – in 2011.

Specifically, the suit claims that in 2012, Roque, then-Deputy Mayor Silvio Acosta and then-Town Attorney Gilberto Garcia asked Munoz to get involved in political firings and wanted influence over how he voted on the freeholder board.

By Mid-2013, Munoz believed the situation had gotten worse, claiming that Roque had orchestrated “a false investigation” of his mother’s home conducted by the West New York Health Department and also playing a role in his county vehicle being damaged while he was on vacation.

The second half of the lawsuit focuses on Roque’s federal hacking case, where his son Joseph faced nearly identical charges.

Munoz was the key witness in the trial, testifying that he operated the website, a blog that was critical of Roque and his administration, under the pseudonym of Maria Pascuale out of fear of political retaliation.

The ex-official cooperated with the FBI prior to the Roques being charged in the matter.

Mayor Roque was acquitted of all charges by a federal grand jury in October 2013, while Joseph Roque was sentenced to one year of probation for computer hacking.

Zayas largely declined to discuss the settlement, simply telling Hudson County View “I’m glad this matter was settled amicably.”

A West New York spokeswoman did not immediately provide a comment on the situation and the amount of the settlement was not stated in the resolution passed by the town.

A copy of the lawsuit and approved resolution can be read here.

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  1. The WNY taxpayers are on the hook again for an undisclosed amount of money for the stupidity of the Mayor, former Town attorney Gilberto Garcia and former deputy mayor Silvio Acosta who is still on the town payroll and is still a member of the board of education . This is a joke and the taxpayers are the victims here.

      • John, we all know you are a very articulate investigative reporter so the only ones not happy with this post is the administration . We would like to know what Silvio Acosta’s job and duties are because rumor has it he just picks up his check $ 100,000 plus a year . All the law suit settlements were made public and there were plenty. This one was a big secret , all the details kept from the public. Even Michael Acosta ‘s settlement was made public . The list goes on and on . The taxpayers continue to get ripped off . Thank you for reporting all of the previous settlements

        • Thanks and you’re welcome. As for the Silvio, he makes somewhere between $100k to $110k, I don’t have the exact number at this moment. He’s the DPW superintendent, which is a pretty standard supervisory position in DPW throughout the state. In general, the position is the number 2 in command behind the commissioner of the department and is basically in charge of the day-to-day operations – at least that’s my understanding as of today.

          • Wasn’t Silvio Acosta suppost to retire at the end of the year ? and I thought the DPW was reorganized and the superintendent position eliminated. This is why he is there with no job and no duties. The Acosta family continues to milk the WNY taxpayers . His son Michael the police officer sued the town and received a 90,000 settlement . Silvio owed the town $ 500,000 in fines for building violations while he was a building inspector and he continues to be protected by the Mayor who’s under indictment himself.

  2. You’ve got it right, Vinnie gumbotz. This town needs to be rid of the evil and corrupt Roque and Acosta, and all their families and supporters.

    They are the lowest of the low, in every way.