Greaney says one thing to voters, another to newspapers

2nd ward challenger Tom Greaney is still hiding the truth about his bankruptcy and Hoboken residency.

On April 27th, Hoboken411 reported the exclusive details of Greaney’s bankruptcy at age 35. These revelations caused Greaney to reduce his campaigning and avoid reporters asking questions. Five days later he finally spoke to Ray Smith of the weekly paper, admitting he had hidden his bankruptcy from the voters and exaggerated how long he has lived in Hoboken. Greaney refused to explain why he went bankrupt and fled the country, and told Smith he didn’t want to discuss specific details.

Greaney tells tall tales on the campaign trail

Meanwhile, Hoboken411 reader bmacqueens ran into Greaney last Thursday and asked about his bankruptcy. Instead of giving the same “I don’t want to discuss specifics” answer he gave the reporter, the candidate offered a tale built for “damage control.”

Greaney told the Hoboken411 reader he ran up $43,000 in debt on several credit cards before fleeing to Japan because he “tried to launch a consulting business that wasn’t as successful as he hoped.” If this is true, why didn’t Greaney admit this to reporters who asked direct questions about his hidden bankruptcy? Why didn’t Greaney include this explanation in his final letter to the editor before the election in this week’s paper? Perhaps because a political damage control story given vocally on the campaign trail is nearly untraceable, but a lie told to a reporter or written in a Letter to the Editor can come back to haunt you.

So, who is putting these words in Greaney’s mouth?

Carol Marsh isn’t the only former HCDO Vice Chair behind Greaney’s campaign.

His campaign manager is Jack Butchko, a longtime Hudson County political operative who once ran for 2nd ward City Council himself… in Bayonne.

Take a look at this video and see how Butchko makes Greaney read his old campaign scripts:

Meanwhile, despite having to admit to reporters he’s only lived in the 2nd ward for about a year (after flipping his condo and moving out in 2005) Greaney continues to distribute campaign literature with the lie that he’s a “Civic Activist with a Decade of community involvement” in Hoboken.

Greaney refuses comment on specifics of his hidden bankruptcy,

Confronted for misleading people about how long he’s lived in Hoboken

5/4/2011 Update:

Five days after Hoboken411 broke the story of Tom Greaney’s history of bankruptcy and residency issues, the 2nd ward challenger been forced to answer questions.

Local reporters have been trying to get Greaney to respond to Hoboken411’s reporting for days. He finally spoke with Ray Smith of the weekly paper, which followed up their website. Greaney acknowledged the bankruptcy, which followed his running $42,897 in debt on several credit cards before fleeing to Japan, but refused to discuss specific details.

Candidate for City Council won’t provide further details

Greaney offered no explanation for the fiscal irresponsibility that led to his bankruptcy filing, which occurred when he was 35 years old. Instead he offered carefully crafted damage control responses about how the experience was a “painful learning lesson” which taught him “a lesson about financial discipline.” These words will likely be repeated on the campaign trail, which is somewhere Greaney has not been seen much since Hoboken411 broke the story.

So much for that “Decade of Involvement” in Hoboken

Greaney was also called out by the weekly paper for distributing purposely inaccurate campaign materials that claim he’s had a “10-year history in Hoboken.”

Due to Greaney’s misleading statements, several local media reports still indicate he’s been active in Hoboken politics “Since moving here in 2003.” As Hoboken411 reported, not only has Greaney not been active, but he also moved out of Hoboken after flipping his condo in 2005. The weekly paper now joins Hoboken411 in reporting the truth that Greaney only moved back to Hoboken last year just days before the residency deadline to run for City Council.

If you can’t trust a candidate to be truthful with you about how long they’ve lived in Hoboken, can you trust them at all?

Hoboken411 Exclusive:

Candidate Thomas Greaney’s Bankruptcy Revealed

Challenger for the 2nd ward seat hides his history of bankruptcy, misleads the press and public about his time in Hoboken.

Tom Greaney has repeatedly called himself, “The most qualified person in the race to represent the 2nd ward.” In his kickoff speech he twice called on the public to “hold him accountable.”

One thing Greaney never mentioned is how he personally wasn’t held accountable for $42,897 in bad debt he ran up before filing for bankruptcy protection and fleeing to Japan.

This revelation is the result of a Hoboken411 investigation into Tom Greaney, a candidate who appeared out of nowhere to run for City Council, and could disappear just as quickly.

Greaney campaign claims he’s lived in Hoboken since 2003; not true!

A quick search of local media reports on Greaney’s run for office shows he repeatedly told reporters he’d been active in Hoboken politics “Since moving here in 2003.”

That was an odd statement to people who knew Greaney actually hadn’t lived in Hoboken for several years before announcing his candidacy. In fact, Greaney moved to Brooklyn in 2005 before briefly relocating to Jersey City, followed by another move to Peter Cooper Village in Manhattan. Greaney didn’t move back to Hoboken until days before the statutory deadline to be considered eligible to run in the 2011 City Council election. To do so, he declared his “residence” was a friend’s rented waterfront apartment. Sources say his name doesn’t even appear on the lease, and he could move out at any time without penalty. More on that – and Greaney’s extremely transient nature – to come. First, back to the bankruptcy…

Greaney defaults on big debts, flees to Japan for 7 years

A quick background check on the 49-year-old candidate shows an evasive pattern of never staying in one place for too long. From 1988 until 1996, Greaney lived at 9 different addresses in 5 different states. Court records indicate Greaney may have been attempting to elude creditors who were owed tens of thousands of dollars. Greaney literally dropped off the map in 1996 and didn’t resurface until 2003 back in Astoria, NY. Where did Greaney go for 7 years? Japan, where his bankruptcy filing wouldn’t haunt him.

Bankruptcy filing: Greaney walks out on massive credit card debt

On July 17, 1996 Tom Greaney petitioned the United States Bankruptcy Court to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Court records show Greaney ran up $42,897 debt on 7 different credit cards, including:

  • $14,847 owed to Mellon Bank
  • $8,199 owed to American Express (multiple accounts)
  • $8,248 owed to Chevy Chase Bank
  • $5,574 owed to Chase
  • $4,478 owed to Consumers Edge
  • $1,551 owed to Sun Trust

Greaney stated in his bankruptcy proceedings that he only had $960 in assets to his name, that his monthly salary was $2,200 a month while his monthly expenses were $2,210. He lists his employment as a teacher in Japan. This conflicts with Greaney’s recent statements that he has “over 20 years of management experience dealing with union and non-union employees.”

Greaney makes many claims about his corporate experience, but hasn’t provided a resume with references to the press and public beyond saying he’s a 2nd Vice President for Human Resources – the guy who smiles at you just before he tells you you’re fired. After personally defaulting on $43,000 in debt, Greaney is running on a platform giving City Hall a bigger credit card by holding a large budget surplus.

Greaney tells a Bankruptcy Judge he’s living paycheck-to-paycheck in Japan, but returns after his 7-year exile to buy a condo on Hudson Street. How Greaney apparently gamed the system for maximum personal gain, and continues to lie about his credentials on the campaign trail, after the jump!

Greaney returns to Queens in 2003 before moving to Hoboken

In 2003, Tom Greaney resurfaced in Astoria, NY. Several months after returning stateside Greaney purchased a luxury Hoboken condo which cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Where did someone who stated he had $960 to his name and was spending $10 more a month than he made get the money for the expensive down payment? Not having to pay the $43,000 he owed the credit card companies may have eased the pain of saving for his condo.

Just two years later, Greaney cashes out and leaves town!

In 2005, Greaney capitalized on the Hoboken real-estate boom and sold his condo for a sizeable profit. He briefly lived in Brooklyn before ending up in Liberty Towers, a luxury rental building on Jersey City’s waterfront. A year later, Greaney moved to Peter Cooper Village in New York City. Interestingly enough, public records indicate Greaney did not vote once from 2006 to 2010, not even in the Presidential Election despite making repeated contributions to the campaigns of John McCain and the Republican National Committee.

Marsh, Lenz and Soares woo Greaney back to Hoboken

Greaney, Michael Lenz and Tony Soares have a storied relationship dating back to Carol Marsh’s 2005 run for Mayor. The trio was often found in Marsh campaign headquarters strategizing and pontificating while other supporters were busy knocking on doors and campaigning.

Last summer when Michael Lenz cut a deal with Michael Russo to get Soares free medical benefits and a $5000 stipend on the North Hudson Sewerage Authority board, many in the Dawn Zimmer camp were ready to toss Lenz and Soares out the door. Tom Greaney served as the peacemaker helping to smooth everything over because he figured if Lenz and Soares were sent into exile that his deal went with them. What was his deal? Move back to Hoboken and receive Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s blessing and financial support to run for City Council against his old ally Beth Mason.

The bottom line on Tom Greaney

Greaney’s campaign has been floundering for months. Financial support he was promised has been re-routed to other ward races, and Greaney’s performance at the candidates debates was overshadowed by unknown challenger Franz Paetzold.

On top of it all, the incumbent he’s been attacking is running a stronger campaign. This spells disaster for the transient, formerly bankrupt Greaney, who may bail on Hoboken yet again before long.

After reading this story, Greaney’s campaign operatives and contractors may want to be paid up front before services are rendered.

Hoboken NJ

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