After roughly two long years in litigation, a jury, consisting of six women and two men, in Hudson County Superior Court has ruled in favor of former Hoboken Police Director Angel Alicea – entitling him to $440,000 in damages – in his discrimination case against Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the city of Hoboken.
Attorney Louie Zayas, who represented Alicea in the matter, told Hudson County TV that the jury made their decision late Wednesday afternoon after being charged by Judge Jeffrey Jablonsky roughly 24 hours earlier.
Specifically, they ruled that while Mayor Zimmer had not discriminated against Alicea, the city of Hoboken was guilty of discrimination in this instance.
Zayas also told HCTV that he will return to court on Thursday seeking punitive damages in the matter.
Throughout the case, it was revealed that Alicea met with FBI informant Solomon Dwek on two occasions back in 2009, declining a $5,000 cash bribe in both instances.
Zimmer testified that Alicea lied to her shortly after The Jersey Journal reported the news in September 2009, claiming he had never even met Dwek.
According to Zimmer, Alicea’s story changed in April 2011, one day after Councilwoman Beth Mason called out the then-police director for meeting with Dwek two years prior.
During the meeting, where legal counsel Melissa Longo was present, Zimmer said she asked if there was any truth to the allegation made by Mason and Alicea stated he did meet with Dwek twice but never accepted a bribe.
Zayas went as far as to argue the first meeting with Zimmer and Alicea never happened, noting that there was no documentation or other witnesses around to prove the two ever sat down in the mayor’s office one on one.
Additionally, Zayas argued that minorities are routinely passed over for promotions under Mayor Zimmer’s administration, while Zimmer said her police is to always hire the most qualified candidate for the job.
Gerald Krovatin, the attorney representing Zimmer in the civil case, brought out the fact that ex-IT Manager Patrick Ricciardi, who received five years probation in federal court in August for pleading guilty to hacking Mayor Zimmer’s e-mail account, forwarded those emails to Alicea.
A spokesman from the city of Hoboken indicated that as of 5:25 p.m. on Wednesday, the jury had not finished deliberations on all aspects of the case.
Hudson County TV has contacted both parties in an attempt to set up a sit down interview once the trial has been formally concluded.