Bruce Alston refocused on real estate biz with HCPO persecution in rearview
With persecution at the hands of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office in his rearview mirror, Bruce Alston, twice-defeated by the Hudson Democratic political machine, is looking to rebuild in the real estate business.
The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office (HCPO), especially Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez, has an infamous reputation for showing corrupt cops and public officials the soft hand of justice. At the same time, Bruce Alston, an adversary of the local Democratic political machine, faced the heavy hand of the law for having the audacity to run for public office.
Twice-defeated by the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) in New Jersey’s 31st Legislative District, Alston told Real Jersey City – after his unsuccessful 2015 campaign for NJ Assembly – that “borderline racism” exists within the political machine.
“I think there’s some fundamental issues, that are borderline racist, that the HCDO would have to change before I would really try to latch on to that type of agenda,” said Alston. Unfortunately for Alston, it appears Hudson County politics, in its ugliest form, didn’t end with the primary election.
Per the Jersey Journal, on October 23, 2015, Alston, his sister, and a former girlfriend, were charged by the HCPO with making/possessing materials to make false government documents, false/tampering with record, theft-illegal retention, tampering with public records, false representation, theft by deception, impersonation and conspiracy to commit those crimes.
It must have felt like déjà vu for the aspiring mogul, because this wasn’t Alston’s first run-in with the prosecutor’s office after a failed campaign.
In January of 2012, after falling short in his bid for NJ Senate, Alston faced similar charges from the HCPO. After the charges were ultimately dropped, he told the Jersey Journal that the criminal complaint against him was related to “a former business associate” and they were “involved in a back-and-forth lawsuit against each other.”
“Political adversaries of mine realized we were going through this and encouraged him to file criminal charges against me,” Alston stated at the time.
It seems like the political activist and real estate entrepreneur didn’t learn a valuable lesson from 2011. According to sources, Alston’s confrontational campaigning in the 2015 Democratic Primary, specifically against now-Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti, inspired his adversaries to push the prosecutor’s office to build another criminal case. CONFRONTATIONAL EXAMPLE BELOW:
Of note, sources close to now-Assemblywoman Angela McKnight, the other HCDO candidate in 2015, often boasted to this journalist that Alston would get prosecuted shortly after the election. Without going into detail, the tone of the comments sounded more like collusion than insider information.
Now I don’t know all the facts of the HCPO’s cases against Alston, but it’s shocking how they had the resources to go after someone that’s essentially a political nuisance for civil business disputes.
When it came to Philip Zacche – the federally convicted ex-JCPD Chief that stole from the Jersey City Housing Authority – Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez not only exonerated him, but celebrated his retirement from a life of crime and posted it to the HCPO’s social media.
— ProsecutorSuarezHCPO (@HCPOProsecutor) June 2, 2017
Eventually the HCPO claimed they lacked the resources to properly investigate the corrupt police chief, who, unlike Alston, was always a friend to the corrupt Hudson Democratic political machine. Nevertheless, somehow the HCPO found the resources to investigate Alston again, as Jersey Journal columnist Augie Torres characterized it – for the alleged fraud of a “Brooklyn mortgage loan company that doesn’t exist anymore.”
“Don’t we usually see feds overseeing banking and investment complaints? Then again, all that matters is if you win or lose and by how much,” wrote Torres.
Alston, who had no prior criminal record, eventually pleaded guilty to theft by deception related to the 2015 charges and entered into a drug court treatment program as part of his probation. Charges against his sister and former girlfriend related to the case were eventually dropped. Due to changes in the law, expungement of his conviction is possible after successful completion of the program.
Speaking of resources, it’s interesting the HCPO only disposed of eleven official misconduct cases in 2015 and 2016 according to an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request. Yes, in infamous Hudson County, the prosecutor’s office could only handle eleven official misconduct cases.
Not to sound conceited, but I’m convinced I’ve exposed more than eleven cases of official misconduct through my investigations. Unfortunately, the Deep State of Hudson County, especially HCPO cover-up artists like Peter Stoma and Gene Rubino, have no interest in going after the thieves that steal from communities and taxpayers.
Though he’s definitely sour about the political prosecutions he’s endured, Alston declined to comment on this story. Instead, he told Real Jersey City that he’s “committed to rebuilding my company and my brand.”
It does appear that Alston is trying to put politics behind him and focus on rebuilding his real estate business, which includes his goal of “establishing an urban revitalization real estate fund.” He’s even cooled down with his local politics blog, The Hudson County Chronicles, which was often critical of elected officials and politicos in Jersey City.
With HCDO politics and HCPO persecution behind him, plus a new business office in Kearny, it’s clear Alston is looking to move forward as objects in the rearview mirror fade in the distance.