Four City Employees arrested

10/8/2009: Update

ABC News did a story about this event tonight:

10/7/2009 Update:

DETAILED CHARGES OF ALL 17 INDIVIDUALS ARRESTED

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Names are out there, but details of the charges aren’t

Still waiting or more details on the apparently drug-related charges against three Hoboken employees. We can confirm they the Fire Department Battalion Chief is Henry Setkiewicz, the Police Officer is Ralph Gallo, and Parking Utility officer is Monica Thorpe. The three are among anywhere between 15 and 20 people arrested following a sweep by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s office. Suspended Jersey City policeman and former International Boxing Federation lightweight boxing champion Mark Medal has also been picked up and charged.

In the meantime, the city has put out another statement:

City of Hoboken, October 7, 2009 – “Late this afternoon, the City of Hoboken received the official notice of charges on the two remaining municipal employees who were arrested yesterday by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. Based on the information obtained, the two individuals in question are being suspended without pay pending disposition of the criminal charges.

The third municipal employee arrested by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office was suspended yesterday. In reaction to today’s events, Acting Mayor Zimmer stated: “As I stated yesterday, any criminal conduct by municipal employees is completely unacceptable. Law enforcement has the complete cooperation of the City of Hoboken regarding this matter.” We will continue to provide further updates as events warrant.”

Zimmer has changed her language a bit since yesterday, when she said, “I have ordered all City officials to cooperate with law enforcement in any way required.” That line led to this response from a city employee, who took offense to it:

“I’m offended by the insulting tone the Acting Mayor is taking with law abiding city employees. She “orders” me to cooperate with law enforcement? First of all, I don’t need her to tell me I should cooperate with law enforcement. I understand my responsibilities as a citizen. Second, where does she get off “ordering” me to do anything? She is welcome to encourage me, urge me, hell, she can even direct me, but she can’t ORDER me. You’re the Acting Mayor Ms. Zimmer, not the Acting Dictator.

(Name withheld for fear of retribution)

So, what do you make of all this? Story will be updated as concrete details emerge.

10/7/2009:

3 arrested in mystery sting, another for DUI

The rumor mill was buzzing yesterday with talk about Hoboken Police, Fire, and Parking Utility officers arrested for various alleged wrongdoing. Names and crime descriptions were flying around and I wasn’t about to put incorrect information up in a rush to be first on the story. Here’s what we know right now. First, there were two different investigations resulting in two completely separate sets of arrests. The first was a traffic stop that led to the arrest of a Hoboken Police Officer.

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Officer Kris Wehrhahn faces DUI charge

At about 1:00am yesterday morning, Hoboken Police pulled a vehicle over for allegedly “traveling at a high rate of speed” on Washington Street between 2nd and 3rd. Police say the driver was 12-year veteran Officer Kris Wehrhahn, who was charged with Driving Under the Influence and refusing a Breathalyzer test, as well as suspended from the force with pay (in accordance with the PBA contract). Wehrhahn is the son of HPD Lieutenant Walter Wehrhahn, who has been on the force for 35 and a half years.

A completely separate (and even more bizarre) story:

One Hoboken Police Officer, a Fire Battalion Chief and a Parking Utility employee have been rounded up by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s office for as-yet undisclosed alleged crimes. One report indicates a suspended Jersey City police officer has also been charged in the same operation. No official word on who’s been arrested and why, but if some of the rumors I’m hearing are true, this should be a doozy once the news officially breaks.

On word of the arrests, the city sent out the following statement:

“Three Hoboken municipal employees were arrested earlier today by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. The City is currently in the process of obtaining all of the documents relating to the arrests. Based on the information already obtained, one individual is being suspended without pay pending disposition of the criminal charges. The City will take appropriate action regarding the other complaints when it receives official notice of the charges.

In reaction to today’s events, Acting Mayor Zimmer stated: “Any criminal conduct by municipal employees is completely unacceptable and I take this matter extraordinarily seriously. I have ordered all City officials to cooperate with law enforcement in any way required.” We will provide further updates as events warrant.”

So, what do you make of all this? We’ll update the story as concrete details emerge.

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92 Comments on "Four City Employees arrested"

BarbaraR56
Member
BarbaraR56

About 3 yrs. ago I lost my mother in a tragic accident that was caused by a faulty light bulb. She was an Alzheimer victim and somehow had gotten hold of the wrong bulb. The HFD, Police and EMT responded quickly, there were competent, compassionate knowing that my 87 yr. old mother would never survive her injuries. My gratitude goes out to these dedicated professionals, though she did not survive the tragedy they could not have been more cordial or helpful in giving us the information we needed very promptly. Their response time was rapid, there faces showed the sadness and shock we felt and just about every member of the battalion on duty that fateful night came and paid their respects to her. The police provided an escort to her final resting place. I have nothing but good things to say about our bravest and finest.

blahblahblah
Member
blahblahblah

Dude,

HFd must train at least twice a day and once at night. That is how it keeps its Class I-ISO rating…which SAVES TAXPAYERS MONEY…that is a fact…the state and the powers to be conduct audits announced and unannounced….in order to keep such a rating (which I think there are only 4 or so in the nation) you must train 3 times a day, 7 days a week, because you dont see them on ladders or pulling hose doesnt mean they are not training…also, payroll for fd is around 15-18 millions, hobokens budget is 120 million….enough said on that…your local leaders would have you think otherwise…but i have the numbers and numbers dont lie…and if that person made the mistake on doing what you say, one bad apple doesnt spoil the bunch…everyone has problems, NO ONE IS PERFECT, we all have skeletons, some come out, some are locked away…

Downtown Dude
Member
Downtown Dude
Blah I get your point, but the extra costs associated with tunnels and equipment is not relevant to wages being paid. The extra equipment is paid for by the municipality and tax credits are given by the government in part of homeland defense and other such state or government programs. As far as extra training goes you might want to do more homework on that one. The majority of the time the guy’s in the firehouse spend more time going out on false alarms, cooking for each other and hanging out than they do climbing ladders, carrying hoses and going over terrorist training technique. Some even have so much time on there hands that they are able to go and buy cocaine during the shift (oh wait that’s what this thread was all about). How much training could a guy do who’s all zipped up on blow? Do you think he’s out climbing ladders or playing with hoses all day? It’s a shame that a few bad apples have to ruin or expose the system. If payrolls are up b/c of protecting the tunnels then Brooklyn or Manhattan FD/police should tower in income comparison due to more tunnels and bridges. I’m sorry but your correlations don’t add up nor do they support the arguments you are defending. Anyway, hopefully Hoboken can control costs going forward. I agree that some people need to be slapped b/c they say or write the dumbest things, but this is a forum of debate not… Read more »
blahblahblah
Member
blahblahblah

DUDE, re-read mine then….Hoboken is designated the first FD to respond to the lincoln tunnel, im sure that incurrs extra cost, whether it be for equipment, OT, etc…YES, all will come together and resolve what is going on but to be designated the first to respond would incurr costs, cause in order to get the honor of responding first they must have equipment that others dont and must train alot and must maintain what theyhave…all that cost money…im not violent man, i get aggrevated with certain folks on here…Davidcdavid, you have no clue about finn, there are people on here that need a wake up smack…if the shoe fits wear it…

davidcdavid64
Member
davidcdavid64

If we are paying more than other localities in the area that is a problem. If you use the terrorist argument and high rise argument, and crowding argument we should be paying much less than NYC. Certainly department heads should be getting less than NYC.

Most of what passes for discourse here is drivel. It does not matter what facts you present and how logical your arguments are because they don’t change their mind. Usually you know you are exactly the right track when the best the person can reply is he will “slap you upside the head”. It means he knows you’re right and has to resort to such sayings.

Mr. Finn,
You talked about role models and protesters before. Being an example for children, yet you resort to violence all the time. You are the worst offender of being a poor role model. Do you actually read what you say at a time when you’ve thought about what you have written? I worry about the safety of your family and the damage done to them through the many years of exposure to you.

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