‘Veni, Vidi, Vici’: The moment Real Jersey City defeated the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office

HCPO First Deputy Assistant Prosecutor Peter Stoma wasn’t a big fan of Real Jersey City publisher Michael Shurin filming in Judge Mirtha Ospina’s courtroom.

Attorney Jeffrey Garrigan and HCPO First Deputy Assistant Prosecutor Peter Stoma

First and foremost, I couldn’t have exposed how disgraceful, incompetent, and unjust the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office (HCPO) has been under Esther Suarez’s leadership without the generosity and support of many people.

Few believed me when I explained on May 15, 2016, why I wouldn’t work with the HCPO’s fake investigation of ex-Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) Chief Philip Zacche. Specifically, I wrote that Public Safety Director James Shea was “withholding documents [in violation of the Open Public Records Act] to aid the HCPO’s upcoming indictment of current and retired JCPD officers, so as to end their very serious lawsuits against the Fulop Administration – which could damage the mayor’s campaign for governor.”

One month later, Mayor Steven Fulop announced that “today’s 100-count indictment speaks to the extensive nature of the abuse by these individuals. We are thankful for the partnership with the HCPO and we will continue to change the culture by rooting out employees who take advantage of the public trust.”

On the morning of June 15, 2016, injustice in Jersey City and Hudson County was winning, and the future looked bright for Fulop, Suarez, Shea, Zacche, HCPO First Deputy Assistant Prosecutor Peter Stoma and “Chief of Investigations” Gene Rubino. Meanwhile, retired JCPD Capt. Joseph Ascolese, Lt. Kelly Chesler, and Officer Michael O’Neill woke up under indictment.

By the end of October 23, 2018, Fulop wasn’t governor; Suarez was “under fire” for “conflicts of interest” unrelated to actual corruption (and isn’t the attorney general); Shea’s “looking for his exit” (and it won’t be the New Jersey State Police); Zacche is literally a convicted criminal (federally); and Rubino has yet to be exposed. Meanwhile, Ascolese, Chesler, and O’Neill went to sleep exonerated of all criminal charges.

Real Jersey City isn’t responsible for all that misery, but all the words and video certainly helped bend the moral arc of the universe towards justice.

Oh, and before I forget, the myth of Peter Stoma – The Big Bad Internal Affairs Boss – has been completely debunked/shattered. It’s clear now that Stoma didn’t want me filming in Hudson County Superior Court Judge Mirtha Ospina’s courtroom because the camera would expose his own corruption and incompetence.

On the afternoon of September 5, 2018, right before attorney Jeffrey Garrigan’s opening statement, Stoma tried to insinuate some type of nefarious filming on my part. Upon review by Judge Ospina, that move ultimately failed and symbolized the moment Real Jersey City defeated the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office…


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