Rep. Bill Pascrell (left) is honored by Major County Sheriff’s Association.

We stand corrected

Two recent columns and one news story that appeared in The Hudson Reporter contained factual errors. The columns and story were about an alleged rape by a campaign worker in Phil Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign.

Katie Brennan has accused Albert J. Alvarez of allegedly raping her in April 2017 in Jersey City after a campaign event. Alvarez has denied the charge, claimed the encounter was consensual, and has not been charged with a crime.

The errors appeared in a news story on Jan. 24 by Al Sullivan and in his columns on Feb. 7 and 14.

The column speculated on Feb. 7, stated as fact on Feb. 14, and amplified on material reported in a Jan. 24 news article – erroneously in all cases – that someone in the office of Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez had communicated with Peter Cammarano, Gov. Murphy’s soon-to-be-chief of staff, about pending charges against Alvarez and, later, that Cammarano had a role in the decision that no charges would be filed.

Testimony by Cammarano before the Legislative Select Oversight Committee indicates this was not true. Another issue raised in the Feb. 7 column – suggesting someone in Suarez’s office kept her in the dark about the case, yet had the political savvy to communicate with the governor’s chief of staff – was based on that error of fact. Cammarano has testified he was not in contact with Suarez or anyone in her office.

His testimony was corroborated by Murphy’s Deputy Chief of Staff Justin Braz, a friend of Brennan, who also testified before the same committee that he told Cammarano about the pending charges based on information from Brennan.

Pascrell honored by sheriff’s association

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., the longtime co-chair of Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, accepted the 2019 Legislator of the Year Award from the Major County Sheriffs’ Association. The group reserves this annual award for individuals who play a vital role in the support of law enforcement, especially Sheriffs, across the nation.

“To say that I am honored to receive this award would be an understatement,” said Rep. Pascrell. “I am fortunate to work day in and day out with the terrific sheriffs of my congressional district to ensure that they and their officers have the support they deserve.”

The co-chair of the House Law Enforcement Caucus, Rep. Pascrell, according to the association, has been one of the foremost leaders in Congress in seeking to protect Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (Byrne JAG), COPS Hiring program and other key funding streams for state and local law enforcement.

Meadowlands Area YMCA receives $250,000 grant from Kearny Bank

In support of a substantial Meadowlands Area YMCA fundraising campaign, Fairfield, NJ-based Kearny Bank is contributing a $250,000 grant, to be disbursed during a five-year period. As with all donations received during the YMCA’s ongoing “Drive to $1 million” effort, the Kearny Bank funds will finance programs and make possible the acquisition of equipment.

Operating out of the expansive site of the Brooklyn Nets’ former headquarters and training facility, the Meadowlands Area YMCA provides members with a broad range of programs, in the categories of Child Development, Fitness, Health and Wellness; Education; Arts; and Aquatics. It also makes available space for local organizations’ meetings and other events, and, in 2018, provided in excess of $600,000 in financial assistance and program subsidies to more than 3,500 local families.

In 2018, the Y provided more than $600,000 in financial assistance to over 3,500 local families living and working in over a dozen Meadowlands region communities, including Secaucus.

County sheriff named to substance abuse task force

Hudson County Sheriff Frank X. Schillari will be named to the county’s Substance Abuse Task Force which will be established in March to help deal with opioid and other substance abuse issues.

“The opioid epidemic is a public safety crisis that is destroying the lives of millions of vulnerable individuals and devastating countless families each year,” said Hudson County Sheriff Frank X. Schillari. “Drug abuse does not discriminate and it is taking its toll on Hudson County and our nation. I am proud to be named to the Hudson County Substance Abuse Task Force on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office to help our communities put an end to this epidemic and support those battling addiction while on the road to recovery.”

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