Nibot makes Bergen PAC an issue

37th district Republican state Senate candidate Clara Nibot said that Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle has some explaining to do regarding her

37th district Republican state Senate candidate Clara Nibot said that Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle has some explaining to do regarding her relationship with the Bergen Performing Arts Center.

Nibot said that as a freeholder in 2003, Huttle pushed to give $1.9 million to Bergen PAC, a non-profit center where her husband is president. Nibot also pointed out that Huttle’s Chief of Staff, Rocco Mazza, was a marketing consultant to the organization.

“Additionally, since Huttle became an Assemblywoman in 2005, she has lobbied for money from the state to support Bergen PAC,” said the release.

Huttle was elected to the Assembly and started her term in 2006. Mazza resigned from a position as a marketing consultant with the center in August, 2005, for which he earned about $20,000

“"It appears that Freeholder Huttle used her public offices to steer taxpayer money to the Bergen PAC and that part of that money was used to pay her husband and her aide," said Nibot.

Nibot also questioned Huttle on Englewood Democratic Chairwoman Violet Cherry, a supporter who received a subpoena from the U.S. Attorney’s office in March for records relating to her work as Director of the town’s health department that Nibot said also included references to Bergen PAC.

Cherry’s relationship to the 37th district Democrats was also raised by Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes in his aborted state Senate primary campaign against Loretta Weinberg.

“We’d be happy to sit down with Clara Nibot after the election and have a civil discussion with her to educate her on its goals and services,” said Huttle, who added that the $1.9 million the freeholder board gave the center was a loan. “It’s a shame that Clara Nibot has once again seen fit to use exaggerations and fabrications to promote her campaign. It’s only four days before an election. It is unfortunate that Clara would see fit to drag a community icon, a 501(c)3 community center through the mud for political expediency.”

Nibot makes Bergen PAC an issue