The Brian P. Stack Civic Association must turn over the donor records of a handful of Union City police officers who were allegedly promoted over four fellows cops who said they were passed over for promotions due to political retaliation, a judge ruled.
Louis Zayas, a former assistant district attorney in the Bronx, previously filed a motion to compel seeking the civic association’s entire donor list for the past 10 years – as well as any government contracts, jobs and/or promotions approved for any donors to the organization and retaliation lawsuits settled during that time.
He began his argument by stating that without these documents, his case could not proceed.
When questioned by Hudson County Superior Court Judge Daniel D’Alessandro, Zayas added that he believes at least five officers were promoted over his clients and that he has not deposed them yet due to the fact that he is waiting on a ruling on this motion.
He also said he would be willing to limit the scope of his motion to five years instead of 10 since his motion had already been called “overly broad” by opposing counsel.
Christopher Galusha, the McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter LLP attorney representing the City of Union City and Brian Stack, called Zayas’ motion “an unnecessary and aimless political attack.”
Galusha also accused Zayas of “playing to the camera” and continued to stress that things like government contracts and lawsuit settlements are irrelevant to what was alleged in the complaints.
Additionally, Zahid Quraishi, the Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland Perretti LLP attorney – also a former assistant U.S. attorney – representing the civic association said that 501(c)(3) entity’s have no obligation to disclose their donors.
Quraishi also repeated on several occasions that the civic association offered to provide the donor information of Zayas’ clients, as well as the officers that were allegedly promoted over them, but that offer was declined.
He further stated that releasing the entire donor list would create “a trial within a trial” since individuals not named within the suit would in turn have to defend their actions.
At that point, Galusha and Zayas argued about whether or not the list established by the state Civil Service Commission was properly followed by the city and whether or not Mayor Brian Stack influenced police promotions.
D’Alessandro extended discovery until October 13, originally set for August 14, before making his ruling.
“The civic association shall disclose, to the plaintiffs, the donors who were promoted, if any, over the plaintiffs for a period of five years … The court will review the record again to decide whether any additional discovery will be warranted from the association,” the judge said as part of his ruling.
Police Lt. Willie Sierra is awaiting approval on a settlement for an undisclosed amount in this case.
Back in November, only Hudson County View reported on the lawsuits being filed by five different Union City police officers all claiming that they did not get promoted since they would not donate to Stack’s political campaigns and/or his civic association.