Concerned citizens should be alarmed that Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez is a frontrunner to be Pres. Joseph Biden’s pick for the next U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.
The only thing more depressing than the thought of Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez becoming U.S. Attorney for New Jersey is the mainstream media’s silence regarding her candidacy.
Simply put, prosecutors working at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are the best hope for holding public officials accountable for corruption in New Jersey. Those prosecutors need a boss with integrity and the following five stories highlight how Esther Suarez isn’t the person for the job:
#5: The Katie Brennan Case
Due to a high-level public relations campaign, Suarez’s reputation was damaged by the Katie Brennan case. Mainstream media reporting led many to believe Suarez was involved in a sexual assault cover-up on behalf of Gov. Phil Murphy, but that’s complete nonsense.
In reality, the case exposed a county prosecutor that doesn’t read their emails and lacks the faintest interest in actually doing the job (besides photo-ops).
While the majority of this piece focuses on corruption, it seems crystal clear the Brennan case has little to do with Suarez’s lack of ethics, but rather gross incompetence.
#4: Photo-op with Sen. Bob Menendez during corruption case
County prosecutors shouldn’t be accepting awards and taking photos with an individual under indictment. That doesn’t feel like a controversial statement, though, it’s obvious Suarez doesn’t agree.
— ProsecutorSuarezHCPO (@HCPOProsecutor) March 27, 2017
In fact, the Hudson County prosecutor received a Trailblazer award from Sen. Bob Menendez in March 2017 – who was under indictment for political corruption charges at the time. That situation raises two important questions which need to be answered:
- Did Suarez undermine federal prosecutors taking on corruption at the highest levels of government by accepting an award from Sen. Menendez?
- Does Suarez support former Pres. Donald Trump granting clemency to Dr. Salomon Melgen (Sen. Menendez’s co-defendant)?
#3: Promoting unqualified people to key positions
Capt. Patrick DeCarlo was hired by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office (HCPO) on May 16, 2005, promoted to captain by Suarez in August of 2016, and is the HCPO’s Captain of Detectives. According to DeCarlo’s resume, obtained via an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request, he holds a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Almeda University – a non-accredited institution known as a “diploma mill” that has ceased operations.
After the situation was exposed, Suarez claimed the fake diplomas – which DeCarlo was being paid an educational stipend for – was a collective bargaining issue rather than criminal (theft by deception & official misconduct).
Gennaro “Gene” Rubino literally did not “meet the requisite qualifications necessary to serve in the position of Chief of Detectives,” according to Veronica Allende, director of the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Division of Criminal Justice. In response, Suarez changed Rubino’s HCPO title from Chief of Detectives to Director of Investigations – which in practical terms maintained the status quo.
In addition to DeCarlo and Rubino, former HCPO Det. Erin Burns Rubas, a crime scene specialist, is suing Suarez and the HCPO for allegedly being denied multiple promotional opportunities after announcing her pregnancies. Interestingly enough, the civil lawsuit revealed Internal Affairs records were not considered when Suarez made promotional decisions.
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#2: Prosecuting whistleblowers for personal gain
The grand story is complex, but the basic idea is simple – Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Public Safety Director James Shea, and the Jersey City Police Department’s (JCPD) Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) aided & abetted corruption, official misconduct, and racism on behalf of their friends in the Jersey City Police Superior Officers Association (JCPSOA).
Specifically, examples of aiding and abetting include 1) whitewashing the investigation of the infamous “N-word Floyd” report on behalf of the JCPSOA official that allegedly wrote it and 2) conducting a fraudulent investigation of then-Lt. Kelly Chesler and retired-Capt. Joseph Ascolese for whistleblowing about the racist report.
The HCPO – under the leadership of Suarez and First Deputy Assistant Prosecutor Peter Stoma – maliciously prosecuted those cops based on a fraudulent off-duty corruption investigation initiated by the JCPD IAU.
Why would Suarez do such a thing? Fulop was a frontrunner to replace Chris Christie as New Jersey’s governor, he wanted the whistleblower lawsuit to disappear, and Suarez had aspirations of being Fulop’s state Attorney General. Read more about that story here.
#1: Exonerating JCPD Chief Phil Zacche
Speaking of off-duty corruption, not only did Suarez prosecute whistleblowers for a fraudulent investigation – she ordered a fake HCPO investigation to exonerate ex-JCPD Chief Phil Zacche for actual off-duty corruption.
Ultimately, Suarez’s corruption didn’t save Zacche from being convicted by federal prosecutors for one count of embezzling, stealing, obtaining by fraud, misapplying, and without authority knowingly converting money belonging to the Jersey City Housing Authority (JCHA) related to a no-show security job.
Nevertheless, the Zacche case is 1) a reminder of how Suarez lacks the ethics & integrity to be the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey and 2) proof she’s not ready to lead prosecutors working for the DOJ.
Publisher’s Note: To keep this piece under 1,000 words, the story was limited to 5 reasons Suarez shouldn’t be U.S. Attorney for New Jersey. Stay tuned for more reasons that haven’t been reported.
— ProsecutorSuarezHCPO (@HCPOProsecutor) June 2, 2017