Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Zisa-backed school trustees sworn, editors could care less

On the public Hackensack River walkway behind Pep Boys, city of Hackensack garbage cans were brimming on Sunday. An old Costco Wholesale shopping cart and other metal parts were left near a second can, below.


Hackensack residents won't find a word in The Record today about the swearing in of two school board members backed by the Zisa family -- a curse the city can't seem to shake.

Instead, Editor Deirdre Sykes resorts to another gee-whiz photo and story on Page 1 -- this one about lightning hitting a tree and igniting a Glen Rock house next door to the assistant fire chief (A-1).

All's well that ends well, I guess.

Mordaga leaving

Sykes and Staff Writer John Seasly do have Hackensack news today, but it has nothing to do with the city's failing elementary schools, a ballooning school budget or the attempted political comeback of former four-term Mayor Jack Zisa and brother Ken, the disgraced police chief.

Instead, they lead Local with the expected news that Mike Mordaga, a decorated police officer and detective, is leaving as the city's $150,000-a-year civilian police director after three years in the job (L-1).

Mordaga took over in February 2013, several months after a jury convicted Ken Zisa of insurance fraud and official misconduct charges.

The insurance fraud charge was thrown out by an appeals court, but the former police chief still faces a retrial on the official misconduct charge. 

The city, which has abolished the position of police chief, also has spent more than $8 million defending and settling police officers' lawsuits against Ken Zisa, who also was a Democratic state Assemblyman.

Team Hackensack

The reporter forgets to mention that Jack and Ken Zisa were prominent backers of Team Hackensack, which saw two of its three board candidates sworn in on Tuesday night in the high school media center.

The Zisas even went so far as improperly obtaining the addresses of teachers union members, and sending them letters inviting them to a Team Hackensack barbecue at the home of Anthony C. Zisa, Ken's son, who is a high school teacher.

Francis W. Albolino
 (Credit: Hackensack Board of Education)

24-year veteran

In a broadcast of the Board of Education meeting, board President Jason Nunnermacker praised Francis W. Albolino for 24 years of service as a board member or president and presented him with a plaque.

However, Nunnermacker didn't list a single accomplishment by Albolino, who retired from the volunteer position on Tuesday night.

Truck hits tree

Of course, it's possible that Seasly covered Tuesday night's Hackensack school board reorganization, but that local editors ordered the story held for breaking news -- a garbage truck hitting a tree in Ridgewood (L-3).

Page 1

Sykes continues to run state and national politics on the front page in place of real news, long after readers have gotten sick and tired of reading about the presidential campaign (A-1).

Still, The Record's story doesn't mention Governor Christie again stood behind GOP front-runner Donald Trump's left shoulder as the billionaire racist declared victory in five more primaries on Tuesday (see Chris, Donald and Mary Pat).

The Woodland Park daily is the only major newspaper in the state that failed to call for Christie's resignation after he dropped out of the race in February, and threw his support behind Trump.

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