Officer Ronald E. Freeman, III In Loving Memory

30 05 2012


Ronald E. Freeman, III, 36, of Clifton, entered into rest on May 28, 2012. Born in Westwood, he lived most of his life in Clifton.

Ronald was a Police Officer with the Passaic Police Department for the past 16 years and was a member of PBA Local #14. A parishioner of St. Andrew the Apostle RC Church, Clifton, Ronald was a member of the Clifton Moose Lodge # 657.

Devoted father of Ryan. Loving son of Ronald E., Jr. and Connie (Bonfiglio) Freeman of Clifton. Dear brother of Christopher and his wife Charise of Lanoka Harbor. Cherished grandson of Ron and Virginia Freeman, Pal and the late Fred Bonfiglio. Loving uncle of Kaitlyn and Brianna. Cherished love of Valerie Sanchez.

Funeral Friday 10 AM at the Shook Funeral Home, 639 Van Houten Ave., Clifton. Interment, Ascension Cemetery, Airmont, NY. Visiting Thursday 2-4 and 7-9 PM at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations made to Christopher Freeman to be held in trust for Ryan Freeman’s Education Fund, would be greatly appreciated.


Thursday May 31, 2012, 2-4 PM – 7-9 PM at Shook Funeral Home
Click for Map and Directions


Friday June 1, 2012, 10 AM at Shook Funeral Home
Click for Map and Directions

For more information or to donate, please click this link.


If your street in Passaic is still a mess?

27 12 2010

If your street in the City Of Passaic is still a mess feel free to call the department of public works at (973) 365-5654

For $125 City Employees Can Honor Mayor Blanco and Keep Their Jobs

18 11 2009
For $125 you can honor Passaic mayor

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Record



PASSAIC — Mayor Alex D. Blanco has taken a page from former mayor Samuel “Sammy” Rivera’s playbook: invite city employees to a party, with a suggested ticket price of $125.


City employees this weekend found an invitation in their home mailboxes from Blanco’s election campaign committee, which the mayor controls, to a holiday dinner dance party in his honor.

Rivera often relied on a similar tactic, hosting parties to which employees donated to help fill his campaign coffers and cultivate loyalty, especially among the ranks of police officers. Rivera is serving a 21-month prison term on bribery charges stemming from a 2007 federal corruption sting.

The invite caused many city hall workers to wonder if Blanco is applying unspoken pressure for a $125 “suggested contribution” — three weeks before Christmas. It is unclear how Blanco will spend the proceeds, but donors are asked to write their checks to his political campaign, “Friends of Dr. Alex Blanco.” The next mayoral election is in 2013.

Most city employees declined to speak for attribution, citing their fear of retribution, but one worker said nobody is “cordially invited,” but rather politically required to attend.

“I don’t think it’s proper, because it’s unethical,” said the employee. “If a secretary is making $30,000 a year, is she going to feel undue pressure to go? When you’re sending them to a lower person, who has a family, you’re putting pressure on them to go.”

Several city workers received the invitations at their home addresses, even though they never donated to his election campaign. It’s unclear how the campaign obtained the employee addresses.

Blanco’s spokesman Keith Furlong had not responded to questions about whether the mayor’s campaign used city payroll records for the mailing, or to questions about the event as of Tuesday evening.

It is not illegal to solicit city employees for political contributions, but a local ordinance – adopted during Council President Gary Schaer’s stint as interim mayor last year – prohibits candidates from asking for donations in city-owned buildings. The ordinance provides a loophole that allows solicitation if the candidate who does so communicates in “casual or inadvertent” manner.

Some city workers Tuesday recalled how Rivera hosted frequent cocktail parties, dinners and breakfasts as a way to pull in campaign contributions from city workers.

An investigation by the Herald News in 2006 showed that city police officers who donated to Rivera’s campaign often were promoted over those who did not. Former cops said it was common knowledge in the department that those who donated, or sold tickets to fundraisers, had quicker ascent up the ranks.

On Tuesday, one union official said he was not concerned that Blanco would play the same game.

Lawrence Dostanko, president of Firemen’s Mutual Benevolent Association, Local 13, said he does not believe the mayor would base his decisions on promotions and firings on who gave to his campaign.

“If anything is going to happen, it’s going to happen regardless of our guys supporting an elected official or not,” Dostanko said.

As for any connection between Blanco and Rivera, Dostanko said it is too early.

“I’m giving (Blanco) the benefit of the doubt that he’s not going to follow in the footsteps of Sammy Rivera,” Dostanko said, “unless he proves me otherwise.”

Passaic cop blames politics

24 06 2009

CLIFTON — Officer Erica Rivera, one of the two Passaic police officers suspended in connection with a case of alleged police brutality, spoke publicly Thursday for the first time since a video was released of her partner striking an unarmed man with his fist and a baton. Buy this photo Rivera, who is seen on the video pacing around her partner, Officer Joseph J. Rios III, as he wrestled with the Passaic resident, did not speak about the incident itself but said her suspension was a result of political wrangling in City Hall. Specifically, she and her attorney, Miles Feinstein, said Mayor Alex D. Blanco suspended Rivera without pay because she is married to former Mayor Samuel Rivera’s son. “I think at this time, it’s personal, and Rios was suspended with pay for something more serious,” Rivera said in an interview at Feinstein’s Clifton office. “I think they should have looked at all the positive things I’ve done for the last six years and [I] should not have been suspended.” On May 29, Rios struck Ronnie Holloway in the face with his fist and used his baton several times, according to the video, which sparked a protest in front of City Hall against police brutality. The video shows Rios throwing Holloway against the hood of his cruiser and then throwing him to the ground, at which point he punches Holloway in the face and strikes him with his baton as Holloway lies on his back. Rios was first suspended with pay, but Blanco — under intense public pressure — changed his mind and issued Rios’ suspension without pay. Rivera was immediately suspended without pay and Feinstein believes it is because she is related to former Mayor Rivera, who is in federal prison on corruption charges. “The differential could very well be her last name,” Feinstein said. City spokesman Keith Furlong declined comment on the Rivera family allegations from Feinstein, but issued a statement from Blanco. “The administration is confident that they have taken the appropriate disciplinary action and we’re certain that all facts will come out in the ongoing investigation,” he said. Rivera declined to comment through Feinstein about whether she thought Rios acted properly or about her actions during the incident. Rivera did not physically get involved with Holloway, but she allegedly filed a false police report of the incident, saying she was struck several times with Rios’ baton by accident. The video appears to contradict that report. Neither Rivera nor Feinstein commented on the charges filed against her. The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the incident. During Thursday’s interview, Feinstein said Blanco acted hastily when he suspended his client, which cast a veil of guilt in the public perception. “To take away the presumption of innocence is an absolute disgrace,” Feinstein said. “What concerns us at this point is the suspension without pay. It came at a time when she has not been charged criminally. She still has not been charged criminally.” Rivera’s interview on Thursday comes more than a week after Rios held a news conference claiming he did nothing wrong. “On behalf of Officer Rios, our position is that neither Officer Rios nor Officer Rivera did anything wrong and do not deserve to be suspended without pay,” Rios’ attorney, Anthony Iacullo, said Thursday. E-mail:

Capuana ops stay up and running in advance of next year’s contest

9 12 2008

PASSAIC – It stands right across from City Hall, and although he came up 400 votes short in last week’s mayoral election, sources close to Vinny Capuana say his headquarters isn’t going anywhere.

It will remain open and active.

There is a mayor’s race next year, after all.

As mayor, Capuana’s conqueror, Alex Blanco, will enjoy the advantage of incumbency in next year’s mayoral contest for a full, four-year term.

But both Blanco and Capuana are trying to secure the backing of those other contestants in last week’s race to fill the unexpired term of Sammy Rivera: real estate developer Jose Sandoval, City Councilman Joe Garcia, and bail bondsman Carl Ellen.


Vinny Capuana's headquarter's

In a crowded Passaic field, Morales says she has fire in the belly

25 08 2008

DENVER – You can’t stray far from New Jersey’s ward politics here, not if you’re at the Hotel Inverness, where Ritzy Morales told that she definitely intends to run for mayor of Passaic.

A longtime director of constituent services for U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson), Morales, 41, said she plans to submit 700 petitions to the municipal clerk in advance of the Sept. 12th filing deadline, and expects to have at least 400-500 of them certified to earn well over the required 200.

“The public has known me for a long time,” said Morales, born in Paterson and a resident of Passaic for ten years. “I have strong values, and I wouldn’t even accept a cup of coffee from someone as mayor, because of the negativity left by Sammy Rivera. I would definitely stop corruption.”

A judge sentenced Rivera on corruption charges earlier this month. Now Morales is one of seven people jockeying to win a special election on Nov. 4th to fill in for the disgraced former mayor. The field consists of School Board member Alex Blanco, city supervisor Vincent Capuana, councilman Jose Garcia, Councilwoman Maritza Colon-Montanez, real estate developer Jose Sandoval, bail-bondsman Carl Ellen, and Morales.

Latinos make up the biggest voting bloc at 52-54%, with the two biggest sub-communities split between Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. Puerto Ricans have the upper-hand numbers-wise – 2,000 to 800-900 registered Dominican voters – but they still don’t quite have the rock solid Election Day numbers that orthodox Jews possess: 1,800-2,200 votes.

“I see a lot of potential in Passaic, and a lot of growth opportunity to unite all of the communities in the city,” said Morales.

She’ll be in a dogfight for Puerto Rican base votes with Colon-Montanez. The latter will have another scrap on her hands in addition to Morales, meanwhile, as Colon-Montanez will be trying to shore up the remnants of Rivera’s political apparatus, even as Capuana tries to do the same thing from within the base camp of the old city guard.

A Dominican who is making his own big play to unite all parties, Sandoval is nonetheless a Republican who has fought the power on numerous occasions and lost. Ellen has the challenge of outleaping the reality of 12% African-American voter registration in Passaic, and appealing to base and new voters.

Then there’s Blanco, who is said to be close to Acting Mayor Gary Schaer, an orthodox Jew who with his endorsement can deliver a plurality of his own ethnic community. But Schaer remains coy about his pick, and Morales hopes she can gain his support.

She acknowledges that one of her chief challenges will be striking down her opponents’ attempts to depict her as an inner sanctum Pascrell plant.

She’ll have to fight the campaign mail piece, perhaps, that suggests she was tossed into the race simply to drain votes from fellow Puerto Rican Colon-Montanez so that Blanco – in the event he’s the back room establishment pick settled on by Schaer, Pascrell and Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie – can rely on a split Puerto Rican vote, and himself unite Dominicans, Jews and others, to scratch out a win.

But Morales insists there’s no stalking horse back story to her candidacy. She wants to win.

“I have a loyalty to Bill and to the party, but I am an independent person,” said Morales. “They affiliate me with Bill. Bill has taught me how to be independent, and he taught me how to care about people. This was a hard decision for me to make. When I spoke with the congressman, he definitely opened the door to allow me to do this. But ultimately this is for me to decide. I have a fire inside my belly to help people.”