Peter Cammarano’s Hidden Life

5/8/2009 Update:

Cammarano tries to shoot the messenger

In the public relations playbook, there were two ways Peter Cammarano, III could respond to the Hoboken411 exposé about the daughter he never talked about. The first is the Mea Culpa, where someone caught in a scandal falls on their sword and owns up to it hoping their reaction will be met with sympathy and understanding. The second is to express displeasure and outrage as part of a “both-barrels-blazing” counter attack. Cammarano took the left turn down the “angry” road of denial (it ain’t just a river in Egypt).

About four hours after H411 broke the story about the 14 year-old “secret” that Cammarano was hiding from Hoboken, the councilman held a hurried press conference to promote a mayoral campaign leaflet. Hoboken411 was not invited. Too bad, because I would have recorded his comments on quality video and presented all of his answers for you to see for yourself. Instead, we have two other reporters’ versions of the event. One from PolitickerNJ and the other from the Jersey Journal, which posted this video of Cammarano’s bellowing opening rant:

In the video Cammarano says, “Hoboken411 today has published a story, or what they are characterizing as a story, um, that is nothing more than a political smear. It has absolutely no truth to it.” Really Peter? Absolutely no truth? Nothing in the article is true? Not a single thing? You don’t actually have any daughters at all, councilman?

See MUCH more after the jump!

Cammarano continues:

cammarano-with-family-at-frozen-monkey-in-hoboken-nj“I’m telling you now, I’m standing here before you today telling you that it’s false and I demand a retraction and an apology from this website… They are making allegations regarding myself, my family, my financial obligations, uh, that are completely false and fraudulent, and I want to make it absolutely clear that what is being published on this website today is without comparison in recent Hoboken history.”

Anyone else hear an echo of Dave Roberts’ voice in your ears? Instead of going through the story point by point to offer an explanation for his actions and omissions, Cammarano went into “full attack mode,” trying to point the finger of blame at everyone but himself. Note on the video he doesn’t even admit at first that he has a child from a previous relationship. Instead, Cammarano deflects by offering ridiculous conjecture about how a story that I’ve been researching on and off for several months got on Hoboken411 in the first place.

I wasn’t tipped off to this by anybody in political circles. I was told by people who “knew him when” and were astounded by his self-importance. Whether or not they have a beef with Cammarano is irrelevant to the facts, which follow a trail of cases and courts, people and places from several sources. If major facts are proven incorrect I will run a correction. After reading Hoboken411, the Journal’s reporter wrote:

“When I was a young person, I had a daughter with a girl I was dating in high school,” said Cammarano in an interview before the press conference. “But I have always paid my obligations to the child.” Cammarano said that after his then-girlfriend had the child, he and she met in New Jersey family court to work out the payments of child support. Cammarano said he was never taken to court for failure to pay child support, nor did he have any civil judgments against him for failing to do so.

cammarano-court-doc-image

Case number 2180277A was filed on 9/4/96 against Cammarano by the County Board of Social Services in Passaic. The amount liability is listed at $30, which was the amount research shows the young college student was supposed to be paying in child support while he wasn’t holding a job.

Cammarano said yes, he was pulled over for speeding in Florida during a spring break trip in law school. The cop ran his name through the system and found an arrest warrant for a Peter Cammarano who was wanted for not paying child support. But Cammarano said that was his father, who he says did not pay child support to his mother after the two divorced. He said the birthdate on the arrest warrant for a Peter Cammarano would show 1947, the year his father was born, not 1977, the year he was born.

As you can read in my original entry – I never wrote that Cammarano had been arrested.

When we asked Cammarano for a number to contact his father to verify this, he said he didn’t have one.

Really? Peter doesn’t have his father’s phone number? Perhaps his attorney could help him out with that (another story for another day). On PolitickerNJ, Cammarano put his tin foil hat on and took it a step further into election week conspiracyville.

“I’m specifically laying it at the feet of Mason and Russo,” said the councilman, who had called the press conference to set out a “blueprint for the future” as a contrast to what he said were the personal destructive political machinations of one of his rivals in the mayor’s race, Councilwoman Beth Mason, and her ally, Councilman Michael Russo. “I call it a conspiracy of theirs to run the city by any means necessary,” Cammarano said. “It’s disgusting to drag somebody’s family into a campaign. It’s the most disgusting campaign tactic I’ve ever seen. The story alleges that I have an arrest record for unpaid child support, which is completely false.”

No, Councilman, the story does not allege you had an arrest record. It says you were pulled over for speeding and a warrant for unpaid child support in your name popped up. It also said you have a second daughter that you have hidden from view. Some say it’s because this fact doesn’t work with the carefully crafted political narrative designed to advance your career.

Enough with the political conspiracy theories

Neither Beth Mason nor Michael Russo were involved in the production or publication of this story. You can see their reaction to Cammarano’s comments on PolitickerNJ. Frankly, I’m tired of these charges and defending myself against jealous rivals. My choice as the sole owner-operator of the most popular online news source in Hoboken is to tell it like I see it – and follow leads about politicians who may be misleading the public, especially those who seek the important role of Mayor in a contentious election.

Read the original story below, and comment at will.

5/7/2009:

Is a truth not told also a lie?

All six candidates for Mayor say they will bring “transparency” to City Hall.

Transparency can only come with honesty, and one of the leading candidates has been misleading voters about his life story for all his years in the public eye. That candidate is Councilman At-Large Peter J. Cammarano, III. Now that he’s seeking the highest office in the city, it’s time for the truth about Peter be told. This is not a joke. This is not a political smear. This is the truth.

peter-cammarano-and-family

In politics and crisis management, they often say the cover-up is often worse than the actual crime. Richard Nixon comes to mind, but in this case Bill Clinton is the better example.

The cover-up that Peter Cammarano would rather you didn’t know about involves his daughter. No, not nearly two-year-old Abigail, but Peter’s first daughter. The one he never talks about. The one whose life he is not a part of. The one he neglected so much that a warrant was issued for non-payment of child support. Peter Cammarano has a 14 year-old daughter that you won’t see mentioned in any of his puff pieces or internet biographies.

This is the story of the daughter few knew about, because he didn’t want you to know.

Read the complete story after the jump!

(Peter Cammarano’s Hidden Life, continued…)

When we first heard of Peter Cammarano four years ago, Hoboken was sold a “sweet story” about an eager young attorney who came here to marry his Hoboken born-and-raised law school sweetheart.

Since Cammarano hadn’t been in Hoboken long before he was plucked from obscurity to be the token yuppie on Mayor David Roberts’ 2005 ticket, the voters bought into a happy storyline sold by political consultants. Shortly before the vote, a “puff piece” hit the daily paper about how Peter planned to honeymoon with his then-fiance Marita Erbeck, complete with a picture of the lovebirds.

peter-cammarano-and-childCammarano has never been shy about working his wife – and later, their young daughter – into every photo opportunity. The papers ran with the announcement that the happy couple was expecting, as well as news of the wonderful new arrival that took the story of two Hoboken lawyers in love to the next level. The PolitickerNJ website even carried the birth announcement. Always thinking politics, Cammarano stressed to all who would listen (and print it) that his daughter was named after Abigail Adams, the wife of President John Adams.

As he prepared for his Mayoral run, the councilman-at-large sought the spotlight for his family, sending holiday cards to Hoboken’s registered voters featuring himself as the “quintessential Hoboken yuppie family man.”

peter-cammarano-stop-the-path-hike-dot-comWhen Cammarano announced his run for Mayor earlier this year at the Frozen Monkey, he brought his wife and toddler along.

Political Insider columnist Augie Torres noted Mrs. Cammarano’s distraught look during the announcement. He asked if her husband had discussed his run for mayor with her. She responded by saying that he had given her “full disclosure,” a term that seemed odd at the time, but makes more sense today, the day the truth comes out.

A father at just 18, and heading off to college

Cammarano grew up in Wayne, New Jersey. Around the time he graduated high school Peter got his girlfriend pregnant. She decided to keep the child. He decided to leave them both behind and go to college on schedule. A source who grew up near Cammarano says:

“Peter’s High School girlfriend got pregnant and had a little girl when she was 18. Peter went off to college later that year in 1995 to Boston University while (name redacted) stayed home to live with her parents to raise the child. Peter had no involvement for the first few years of the child’s life and later had tried to re-establish ties with his child but was rejected by the mother since he was not involved when the child was born. She is currently married and has another daughter.
 Apparently 14 year old (name redacted) inherited Peter’s good looks and all the young boys in school are chasing after her.”

Child Support Non-Payment allegation

In addition to not having a role in his first daughter’s life, Peter Cammarano also didn’t pay child support. This led to a lawsuit compelling him to do so. Since this is a family court issue, there is not much in the way of a public record available. What was learned through legal research, is that there have been civil judgments against Cammarano for as little as $30 and as much as $3,608 for non-payment. That case is dated January 30, 1996 in New Jersey Superior Court.

While on spring break from Seton Hall Law School in April of 2002, Cammarano was pulled over for doing 75 in a 60 MPH zone in Duval, Florida. When the Police Officer ran his license, he was found to have an outstanding New Jersey warrant for unpaid child support. Cammarano later became chairman of the Hoboken City Council Public Safety Committee overseeing the Police Department.

The status of his child support payments today are unknown, but have been told that Cammarano has confided in a few Hoboken movers and shakers about his past, claiming he is now up to date with what he owes. He would have had to clear the warrant before being admitted to the New York bar in 2003.

Why is this coming out now?

Been hearing whispers about Cammarano’s “other” daughter for over a year now, but didn’t feel compelled to follow up on this family matter until now. Several Hoboken411 readers emailed me asking if I knew more about the anonymous flier spread through the city calling him a “Deadbeat Dad.” The flier and internet chatter elsewhere that followed has a lot of people asking questions. Now you have an answer.

Before you blame the messenger, remember this: For Cammarano to think this information would never come out (despite the existence of a public record) is the height of arrogance. He wants the public to “hire” him for a $130,000 a year taxpayer-paid position overseeing what has ballooned to a $121 million budget. Did he think nobody would do a background check? Did he think nobody in town would find out?

Everybody makes mistakes. Not everybody hides them while running for public office. The cover-up can be more damaging than the error. In this case, the public will decide on May 12th.

What’s your opinion? Comment below.

Epilogue

As I said, I’ve known the rumor about “Cammarano’s other daughter” for quite some time now.

I have reason to believe that Cammarano (or people close to him) presumed I knew about it, and might even have heard I was “following up” on the leads. This may also explain why an overnight TV show chore boy with combination skin and a web page who just happened to grow up in the same hometown area as Cammarano (and has worked hard to promote him in Hoboken), just did a pair of hate-filled & envious tirades full of fabrications and lies about Hoboken411.

Suffice it to say, the attacks were planned and coordinated before Hoboken411 could report the truth about his pony in the Mayor’s race. For the five or six of you who have read these attacks, perhaps this guy’s jealous obsession will be clearer now (in other words, now you know which “publications are responsible and balanced while others are biased and have a clear agenda”).

It was politically motivated from beginning to end.

Leave a Reply

322 Comments on "Peter Cammarano’s Hidden Life"

CastlePointWatcher
Member
CastlePointWatcher

It seems there is a link between a person’s ethics at home and their ethics in the workplace, eh?

realstuff
Member
realstuff

HOw about private life instead of hidden life. Unless you do a real criminal act, there is some dignity in some things being as private as possible even in public life and not to be overly repeated.

andynnj
Member
andynnj

Man I love this story. The Rat’s so stupid he doesn’t realize people can research records – and he obviously doesn’t have any reading comprehension skills or 411 wouldn’t have had to point out all the areas The Rat was WRONG!

mooshu
Member
mooshu

Either that or he feels that WE’RE too dumb to figure stuff out.

In response to andynnj who said:
Man I love this story. The Rat’s so stupid he doesn’t realize people can research records – and he obviously doesn’t have any reading comprehension skills or 411 wouldn’t have had to point out all the areas The Rat was WRONG!

escaped68
Member

Calling you ma’am isn’t as bad as asking you if you want the senior citizen discount.

Stpaddygirl
Member

So pissed one of Cammarano’s people just called me Ma’am !!
Good thing it wasn’t the retiree from this morning but still…grr..

Biffy B For Mayor
Member
Biffy B For Mayor

some of us have seen your facebook profile pic…and you are def a Ma’am :)…. 😉

In response to Stpaddygirl who said:
So pissed one of Cammarano’s people just called me Ma’am !!
Good thing it wasn’t the retiree from this morning but still…grr..

Stpaddygirl
Member

I see you are stealing my lines now Biffy touche!

In response to Biffy B For Mayor who said:
some of us have seen your facebook profile pic…and you are def a Ma’am :)…. 😉

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