Hoboken Housing Authority board meeting heats up with protesters trying to save job of executive director

A meeting that was called to determine the fate of Hoboken's Housing Authority executive director on Monday night was so tense, police decided to shut

A meeting that called to determine the fate

A meeting that called to determine the fate of Hoboken's Housing Authority executive director on Monday night was so tense, police decided to shut it down temporarily. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

HOBOKEN - A meeting that was called to determine the fate of Hoboken's Housing Authority executive director on Monday night was so tense, police decided to shut it down temporarily.

The board eventually voted to fire Carmelo Garcia, but those who live in the buildings wanted to make their feelings known.

The group marched to city hall where the HHA board was to vote on ending Garcia's employment contract. His supporters filled the room, arguing with members of the board.

The rally started out peaceful as dozens of residents demanded the city and the agency's board allow Garcia to keep his job. The residents say Garcia is being let go for political reasons.

Barbara Reyes, of the HHA Resident Advisory Board, says Garcia has been a great leader, standing behind many changes that made neighborhoods safer than they were 10 years ago. She calls the plan to fire Garcia "a political vendetta." 

Garcia took the opportunity to defend his work at the HHA. "These are the clients - this is who they should listen too," he says. "They are the residents who are telling them I'm doing a good job or a poor job."

The meeting got so heated, it was stopped by police until board members were able to resume the voting process.  

The reasons behind the firing have not been made public by the board. 

News 12's Kane in Your Corner recently investigated how Garcia, who is also a state assemblyman, negotiated no-bid repair contracts with companies, who then donated money to his political campaign.

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