Former IT manager for city of Hoboken pleads guilty to intercepting mayor’s emails
Patrick Ricciardi, the former management information systems specialist for the city of Hoboken, pleaded guilty Wednesday to intercepting emails meant for the mayor of Hoboken and top city officials and passing some of those communications on to other officials, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.
Ricciardi, 46, of Hoboken, entered a guilty plea – before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court – to charges of accessing a computer without authorization, interception of wire and electronic communications and disclosure of intercepted wire and electronic communications.
As previously reported, the FBI said in documents that Ricciardi was believed to have passed those documents on to two other high-ranking city officials. However, those officials were never charged.
Ricciardi’s former assistant has claimed as part of testimony in a City Hall personnel case that he had allegedly passed some of the e-mails to the city’s fire chief, Richard Blohm, and to former Public Safety Director Angel Alicea.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s press release:
“Ricciardi was a longstanding employee of the city of Hoboken and worked as the chief information technology officer for the mayor’s office. As part of his job duties, Ricciardi was responsible for keeping the city’s network running and had access to email accounts within the city’s computer system and other aspects of the city’s computer network.
“In April 2011, Ricciardi created an archive file on his work computer to intercept and store all emails sent to and from the mayor and certain of the mayor’s employees. Neither the mayor nor any other city employee authorized the storage of the emails or the creation of the file.
“During his guilty plea proceeding, Ricciardi admitted he used his access to set up the email accounts of the mayor and two of the mayor’s top lieutenants so all of their incoming and sent emails would be sent to the archive folder.
“He also admitted that he read some of the emails in order to spy on the mayor and her assistants, and forwarded them to other current and former city officials.
“Ricciardi is scheduled to be sentenced on July 1, 2013, before Judge Salas. Each of the three counts carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
“U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI’s Cyber Crimes Task Force, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.”
Qualifying Hobokenites to see $1,976.46 checks coming in next week
Members of the Rebuild Hoboken Relief Fund announced at a press conference Wednesday that the final amount of funds totaling $973,807 is ready to be dispersed. Sometime next week, 493 approved applicants will receive checks in the amount of $1,976.46 each. Only thirty applications were denied, because they failed to qualify. Means testing was not a part of the application process, however a net loss of $5,000 (after FEMA and other insurance aid) had to be accounted for on the face of the applications. Applications were received until Feb. 9.
The Rebuild Hoboken Relief Fund is a non-profit that was born in the wake of Hurricane Sandy to fill the anticipated gap of insurance that residents and businesses received. Mayor Dawn Zimmer, board member Joseph Mindak, former state Senator Bernard Kenny and President of Haven Savings Bank John Wessling held the check presentation at Haven Savings Bank, 621 Washington St.
Haven Savings Bank has been the primary donor of the funds, generously offering $250,000. The total amount collected by the fund was just over $1 million, however about seven to eight percent was spent on expenses, according to Kenny. These expenses included a gala at the W Hotel in February which cost the fund between $50,000-$60,000 but collected $500,000 that evening.
Another $15,000 is being put in reserve for future disasters, such as displacement of fire or flood victims. Another portion will be set aside for professional fees to stay active.
According to Kenny, the board will discuss if incoming aid from here on out will still be put towards Sandy relief, or if that portion is closed.
Mayor Zimmer also announced that additional grant application processes are being discussed and the public can obtain more information by visiting the hurricane resource center, which is located at 251 First St.
The Next B!g Thing concert is today (Sunday)
The Next B!g Thing is an ongoing concert series that was started by Hoboken Charter School parent Dave Lambert to raise money for the school after a devastating September fire. The series is presented by The Friends of Hoboken Charter School, the Community Church of Hoboken, Outside New York and Music Play Studios. Big Jeff and the Bouncy People are set to perform Sunday, March 24 at the Community Church, 6th and Garden streets, at 3 p.m. “Big” Jeff DeSmedt is an award-winning performer who has been entertaining kids for fifteen years. Tickets to the concert are $12 or $10 when purchased in advance for future concerts. They can be purchased online at the Friends of Hoboken Charter School website, http://hcs-pa.org/concerts.html. For more information, email Dave Lambert at firstname.lastname@example.org, Elissa Brachfeld, Friends of the Hoboken Charter School president at email@example.com, Lisa Orinn, director of Music Together of Hudson County at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Carter Craft, volunteer coordinator at the Community Church of Hoboken at email@example.com.
Noted scientist and author to talk at the Hudson School
Tyler Volk, an author, NYU professor, and former teacher at the Hudson School will speak at the Hudson School on Thursday, April 4 from 7 to 8 p.m. Volk was the first science teacher to work at the Hudson School in 1978. He went on to teach at NYU, where he is the professor of biology, environmental studies and the science director of environmental studies. For more than 20 years, Volk’s research has focused on the global carbon cycle, the dynamics of the biosphere, and patterns of systems. The event is open to the public and will be $10 for non-Hudson families and $7 for Hudson School parents. Students may attend free of charge.
The Hudson School is located at 601 Park Ave. For more information, call (201) 659-8335 or go to www.thehudsonschool.org.
Metro Moms Network CEO being honored for social media of coverage of Sandy
Kathy Zucker, chief executive officer of Metro Moms Network, is a finalist in the Fifth Annual Shorty Awards, which honors the best in social media across various individual and industry categories. Based on her in-depth Twitter coverage of the impact of Hurricane Sandy in the days following the storm, hundreds of metro area parents nominated Zucker for the #keepgoodgoing category sponsored by New York Life. The category honors a mom or dad who is passionate about their family, and uses social media to help inspire others to do the same.
During Sandy, Zucker became a lifeline for thousands of families who had no connection to the outside world aside from text messaging. In the hours before the storm hit, Zucker created a SMS group using the GroupMe service. Zucker reached out to city authorities via Twitter and then shared in the updates. The Fifth Annual Shorty Awards winners will be announced on April 8 at a ceremony in Times Square.
Zucker blogs on MomCondoLiving and elsewhere.
Holy Name Society of St. Francis Parish to honor six men
The Holy Name Society of St. Francis Parish will honor six men at a dinner on Sunday, April 14 at 2 p.m. Honorees are Jerry Altomare, Arturo Martinez, Ruben Gonzalez Sr., Fred Binetti Sr., Vincent “Sonny” Citro and Michael Yaccarino. Tickets to the buffet dinner are $40 and children under 12 are $25. There will be a 50/50 raffle, door prizes, music by DJ Santos and a cash bar. For more information, contact Michael Cannarozzi at (201) 707-6841.