Tuesday, October 18, 2016

John P. Labrosse- Is the P for Perjurer?

This evening, Richard Salkin, Esq., a frequent critic of the City administration (former City Attorney and former Municipal Prosecutor) took Mayor Labrosse to task on his potential perjuring of himself at depositions in the Heck V. City of Hackensack lawsuit and potential misconduct in office in his relations with his employer, Hackensack University Medical Center, and the City of Hackensack.

Earlier in their tenure, the City Council, through City Manager David Troast and Art Carslon (City Tax Assessor), renegotiated the 2008 Developers Agreement with the Hackensack University Medical Center.  Critics of the Council hotly debated the renegotiation.  The City Council gave on tax appeals, reduced future air rights payments from the hospital, and hosed residents ending a long-standing agreement that residents would not be billed for emergency ambulance use.

Salkin sued the City over that agreement and, as part of a settlement, it had to be voted on again by the Council.  Mayor John Labrosse inappropriately did not recuse himself from a conversation regarding that renegotiation, which was a conflict of interest due to his employment with the Hackensack University Medical Center.

During depositions in the Heck V. City of Hackensack case, Jason Nunnermacker, Esq., asked John Labrosse if he obtained assistance from Anthony Rottino in obtaining his promotion at the Hackensack University Medical Center, or a raise.  Labrosse answered "not to my knowledge." 

Richard Salkin, Esq. asked him again at the September 27, 2016 meeting if he obtained assistance getting his promotion at the hospital.  Labrosse acknowledged then, and again tonight, that he simply applied for a job and got it, and that no assistance was given to his knowledge.  Unfortunately, there is documentation to the contrary.

In November 2013, John Labrosse sent text messages to Anthony Rottino, then Economic Development Coordinator, for the City of Hackensack, asking if he had spoken to “Jose” yet.  Jose, is, based on information, belief, and representations, Jose Lozano, the Chief of Staff of Hackensack University Medical Center.  This went on again in January of 2014, when text messages were exchanged between Rottino and Labrosse following up on whether Rottino and Jose had spoken as Labrosse needed to "make a decision."  Rottino then followed up in text messages to Jose asking if there was wiggle room on salary.  Jose advised "no," and said he would explain later.  Rottino then let Labrosse  know he spoke to Lozano and would let him know of the conversation.  Salkin shared with the audience that Rottino had represented to him that Lozano was not happy with promoting Labrosse over "two more qualified candidates at a steeper cost."

Perjury, also known as forswearing, is the intentional act of making a false statement under oath.  While Labrosse can lie through his teeth at council meetings, his statements at the deposition were sworn under oath.  Under NJ Statute 2C:28-1, perjury is a 3rd degree crime and such crimes are punishable by up to five years imprisonment. 

What is even more troubling than Labrosse’s apparent potential perjuring of himself is the timing of the promotion and the many subsequent breaks that HUMC received.  Labrosse has, since his promotion, had seemingly unlimited personal time to attend ribbon cuttings, ground breakings, and other events in the City of Hackensack during a “regular 9-5.”  While I do not know Labrosse’s work arrangements, it seems nearly every time I open Facebook, The Record, or other media outlets, I see pictures of Labrosse at events and City functions.  I seem to remember another employee of HUMC who had flexible working hours and held a position of political decision making that influenced the hospital.  His name is ex-Senator Joseph Coniglio, and he did a stint in prison. 

Hackensack Scoop contacted Jose Lozano of HUMC during the morning of October 17, 2016 citing these issues and asking for any comment or clarification that he could offer.  Lozano has not responded.  John Labrosse declined to retract his previous claims, and declined the offer to comment or clarify what is in the text messages.