Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Odor in the Court?- Beth Mason Political Operative Matt Callichio Files Harrassment Charges Against Blogger for Merely Asking him a Question

Matt Calicchio pictured left with his boss Beth Mason right
Beth Mason Political Operative Matt Callichio and employee of the "art gallery" - Gallery 1200 aka the Mason Family Civic League has filed harrassment charges Against Roman Brice. The case has been moved to Jersey City Municipal Court since Calicchio is a Democratic Committeeman in the fourth ward and is a full time employee of Councilwoman Beth Mason.

The charges stem from merely asking him a a question about a harassment case that BOE board member Theresa Minutillo filed against him in the fall of 2010. Calicchio filed harassment charges April 12th before his harassment case went to trial in Union City.

Two hearings on this case were held in Hoboken, May and July. A third court appearance is now upcoming soon in the case requiring Roman Brice to take yet another day off and deal with this "harassment" charge.

The handwritten Complaint summary filed by Matt Callichio April 12, 2012


In April 2012, word was out the seven months of hearings in the Minutillo harassment case was headed to trial in May with Matt Callicio the named defendant. According to sources close to Roman Brice who pens the website MSV in Hoboken, this is what's transpired to date:
  • Roman on the morning of April 12th sent a text inquiring to Matt Calicchio if a trial date had been set.
  • Matt has had MSV's phone number since the prior year and they had spoken and texted before in 2011.
  • Matt responded in text as if he did not know who was asking the question.
  • In response, Roman made a phone call, Matt did not answer the question about the trial date and the line disconnected.
  • Not sure if the line was an ATT&T drop, a call back was made leaving a voicemail inviting Matt to call and discuss any set trial date.
  • That was the first and only contact made to that point with Matt Calicchio in all of 2012 by Mr. Brice.
  • Matt was likely still unhappy about being caught in a lie with the infamous Giattino sign theft at Kayla's cleaners. MSV had done this story on that incident as linked here:
  • Matt Calicchio was contacted late morning (11:30 am ) April 12th to be interviewed about any scheduled trial date with Theresa Minutillo in Union City.
  • He retaliated by filing a harassment charge 4:30 pm later the same day at the Hoboken Police Department..
  • MSV did its story on the Minutillo case and released it the following week on April 19th.

First hearing in Hoboken earlier in 2012:
  • Matt Calicchio arrived to court and was seated with Ryan Yacco, Beth Mason's Civic League Program Director and 2011 Beth Mason for Council Campaign Manager.
  • Mediation was held and scheduled for another round. Matt attempted to have editorial control over MSV inserted.
  • Frank Raia arrived and looked over the room and went to where Matt was seated shaking his hand.
  • He then leaned over and asked Ryan Yacco to get up and he sat down next to Matt Calicchio.
  • Ryan Yacco went outside and then spoke to a third Beth Mason political operative (Matt and Ryan being #1 and #2)
  • During the hearing after mediation, Ryan Yacco went to the front of the room and took notes during the entire hearing.
Editor's Note: The attendees in the room for the first hearing lends credence this is a politically motivated case and nothing more.

Second hearing in Hoboken later in 2012:
  • There were no Mason political operatives in attendance this time (other than Matt).
  • Prosecutor Tracy Zur - never discussed the harassment charge from April.
  • Instead she pointed to a photo of Matt Calicchio taken when he walked by an outdoor eatery claiming "this had to stop".
  • Prosecutor claimed that Matt Calicchio was being followed to work and his job (no evidence was provided).
  • Prosecutor acted as if taking a photo of a public official was a legal problem - that's not in the April complaint. Mr. Brice has been taking pictures at City Council meetings for three years.
  • Matt claimed he had witnesses and the list was only given to Prosecutor Tracy Zur, no one else saw it Question: How do you produce witnesses to a phone call?
  • Repeated attempts to generate additional complaints by Matt have failed with the HPD apparently revolving around two photos taken in public including a City Council meeting.
  • Matt brought printouts of his attempted complaints to be processed and gave them to the prosecutor. The prosecutor acted as if those complaints made to Hoboken Police Dept. were to be acted upon in the hearing even though no complaint was issued by HPD and had nothing to do with the April complaint.
  • The judge asked Matt Calicchio if it was true he was an elected official in the 4th ward for Democratic Committee.
  • Matt Callichio said he wasn't sure.
  • Roman Brice said yes it's true.
  • The judge asked Matt again.
  • Matt said he wasn't certain
  • Roman Brice told the judge all Democratic committee people had been extended another full year (into 2013).
  • Roman Brice then told the judge Matt works for Councilwoman Beth Mason.
  • The judge asked Matt if this was true.
  • Matt claimed he worked for the Mason's "Art Gallery"
  • Roman Brice replied, "Yes your honor, Beth Mason"
  • The judge again asked Matt if that was the case.
  • Matt said he worked for the Mason family.
  • Judge Mongiello then responded - "And is she part of the family?" He then continued in the hearing without awaiting an answer noting he was moving the case out of Hoboken.
End of 2nd hearing Recap:
  • The judge told Matt Calicchio to stay away from Roman Brice and if he sees him on the street to cross over to the other side.
  • The prosecutor Tracy Zur yelled out during the hearing that MSV "called" re: wrote that Matt Calcchio is a pedophile (Editor's Note: apparently another charge taken at face value from Calicchio).
  • The prosecutor twice requested that there be a restraining order placed on Roman Brice.
  • The judge denied her requests.
  • The judge explained to everyone present he could go outside and walk on Washington Street and anyone could take his picture saying it's not against the law.
  • As the judge concluded his remarks Matt bursted out yelling "He's being served a civil lawsuit tomorrow!"
  • Judge Mongiello dryly responded, "We don't do that here."

Editor's Note: This last comment by Matt Callicio shows the coordinated awareness of the civil lawsuit against Brice, Pincus and 10 plus anonymous bloggers - called by some a SLAPP lawsuit using the courts as a tool for political intimidation.

Matt continues to lie in court and this case as in the instance of the Minutillo case serves as my proof for that statement. That's the lesson learned from getting away with perjury in Union City in the Minutillo trial. Judge Macias at the end of the trial called the testimony of Matt Calicchio and Tania Garcia, both Mason Civic League employees completely "fabricated".

Do you think Matt Callichio is abusing the courts in this case by filing a harassment charge against Roman Brice for merely asking a question? I see this as an abuse of the judiciary and call an odor in the court. With Matt having the backing of boss and public figure Beth "Money Bags" Mason the ability to legally harass political opponents seems to have no boundaries.

Background on the Prosecutor: For those interested in the background of one of Hoboken's prosecutors Tracy Zur, the record shows she was appointed for 2012 as Hoboken prosecutor here:

The actual resolution showing she is paid 65K for work on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Municipal Court is at the link:

Also Note: I have not contacted 4th ward Committeeman Matt Calicchio for this story. I don't want to be forced to take time out to go to court to explain to the judge I asked an elected official a question. Matt is welcome to comment here if he so chooses. I will not censor his comments and allow him to respond if he so chooses.