North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco asserts vindication regarding his long-standing claims that his former opponent, Larry Wainstein, has been working closely with convicted felons while trying to assume power and the public’s trust in North Bergen.
According to a New Jersey Superior Court document from attorney Mario M. Blanch, Esq. representing Diana Ortiz in an appeal of a referendum that was passed regarding the North Bergen Board of Education, on or about June 13, 2019, Ortiz, Wainstein’s recent running mate, went to Blanch’s office accompanied by Joseph Mocco and Ryan Young, also known as “Richard Cullen,” to discuss legal issues that were still pending. Mocco was convicted on racketeering charges, imprisoned in 1995 and released in 2000. Young pled guilty to federal charges on a mail fraud scam in 2018.
The court filing further states that Wainstein spearheaded the litigation against the Board of Education and served as the point person between Blanch and Ortiz. In Blanch’s opinion, the lawsuit against the township’s Board of Education that has halted the township’s high school expansion project should be dismissed since the election is over and Wainstein was not elected.
The document, which certifies that Blanch is in support of withdrawing as counsel to Ortiz, Wainstein’s former ally, states that on or about June 17, 2019, Ortiz and Wainstein sent letters to Blanch demanding their files, action Sacco said provides insight on Wainstein’s criminal associations and relationship with his personal attorney.
“We watched the campaigns and found out over time that Joe Mocco, who was probably the most notorious criminal to ever operate in North Bergen from the government, was running Wainstein’s campaign,” said Nicholas Sacco, North Bergen Mayor.
Something Wainstein has denied during the last two campaigns.
“Mocco’s goal has been to take over North Bergen to enrich himself,” said Sacco. “Now, we have an interesting third party, Ryan Young, who we didn’t know. He’s a person that goes around saying he is Joe Mocco’s nephew. He is a hard-core criminal.”
Sacco, along with his full slate of incumbent commissioners, won in a landslide victory on May 14 against their sole opposition, a slate headed by Wainstein.
North Bergen Superintendent of Schools George Solter said the court placed a moratorium on the Board of Education’s high school expansion project until the lawsuit with Diana Ortiz has been settled.
Larry Wainstein was unable to be reached for comment.