An attorney representing five Union City police officers suing Mayor Brian Stack, his civic association and the police department for political retaliation has filed a motion seeking the donor list for the Brian P. Stack Civic Association.
“I represent, as you know John, five Union City police officers who believe they were passed up for promotion because they didn’t pay-to-play: by that I mean they didn’t buy fundraising tickets or politically support Brian Stack in his political elections and campaigns,” attorney Lou Zayas told Hudson County View.
“And as a result, they were passed over for other police officers who were actively involved in supporting the mayor by way of paying for fundraising tickets for political activities: that’s unlawful.”
Only Hudson County View reported back in November that Joaquin Ruiz, Mark Julve, Willie Sierra, Michael Figueroa and Jorge Porres filed lawsuits in Hudson County Superior Court stating they were all routinely passed over for promotions in favor of more politically active police officers.
Zayas further stated that he has requested the records of everyone who has contributed to Stack’s civic association since he feels there is sufficient evidence that contributors receive pay-to-play benefits in the form of promotions or government contracts.
“The civic association lawyers have objected to those records [being introduced], saying it’s not relevant. We consider they are not only relevant, but critical to our case because only by showing who contributes money, we can then tie it to a contract by Union City and promotions throughout Union City.”
“So we need those records to be able to prove our case and the fact that they’re fighting it tooth and nail is quite telling.”
Also in November, HCV exclusively reported that longtime Stack critic Joe Blaettler had filed an IRS complaint against the civic association, seeking to have their 501(c)(3) revoked since they operate as more of a political entity.
Blaettler calculated that between the seven board trustees received $673,265 in mostly Union City City Hall and board of education jobs.
“Brian Stack claims to be transparent, so what’s he hiding? Why doesn’t he want people to know where the money is coming from?,” he said this afternoon.
“Probably because the same people that are contributing to his campaigns are contributing to the civic. We’re talking about millions of dollars here, too.”
Zayas was succinct when asked why there hasn’t been any settlements in the case after over two years.
“Whether he feels he can prolong this, it’s up to him. He’s being sued for political retaliation, not for being smart.”
His motion was in front of Hudson County Superior Court Judge Daniel D’Alessandro on Friday, but the hearing was postponed. However, Zayas said he expects the motion to be heard before the end of the month.
Christopher Galusha, the McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter LLP attorney representing the City of Union City and Brian Stack, declined to comment.
Additionally, Zahid Quraishi, the Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland Perretti LLP attorney – a former assistant U.S. attorney – representing the Brian P. Stack Civic Association did not return an email seeking comment.