From favored child to fallen angel, the Manzos have had a tumultuous relationship with State officials in New Jersey.
For years the Manzo Family benefited from their political contacts in Passaic County. During Season 2, Bravo filmed the annual fundraiser that the Manzo Family hosted for Passaic County Sheriff Jerry Speziale at their home in Franklin Lakes.
While Speziale was Sheriff, Albert Manzo, co owner of the Brownstone, was appointed as the Deputy Chief of the Deputy Division of Passaic County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD).
After Albie was expelled from law school, Sheriff Speziale permitted Albie to enroll at the Passaic County Police Academy and hired him for the Department. Since there are limited positions in each class at a police academy, Albie’s presence meant that another candidate was denied entry into the Academy.
On January 19, 2010, Governor Chris Christie took office. Governor Christie was a former US Attorney whose specialty was targeting corrupt politicians. On August 10, 2010, Sheriff Speziale announced his resignation effective immediately. Shortly thereafter, Albert and Albie Manzo lost their jobs with the PCSD.
On February 25, 2011, Governor Christie demanded that the seven commissioners at the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission provide detailed information on hiring / compensation practices and whether they played a role in finding jobs for family members. The Governor sent an additional letter to Commissioner Albert Manzo questioning why his residence was listed as the Brownstone Catering Hall (located in Passaic County) instead of his Franklin Lakes mansion (Bergen County), located 20 minutes away.
On March 15, 2011, Governor Christie suspended Manzo. The Governor indicated that if Manzo didn’t resign voluntarily, the Governor would file charges against him for falsifying his residence in order to qualify for the Commissioner’s position.
On March 22, 2011, Albert Manzo resigned as Commissioner. Manzo refused to acknowledge any wrong doing, he indicated that he was resigning so as not to “require the Commission to incur unnecessary legal fees.”
Governor Chris Christie responded that”RHONJ provided more proof that Albert Manzo is not sleeping on a cot at the Brownstone.”
As the patronage jobs in Passaic County dried up, the Manzo Family sought to sell their wares in Hudson County. Albie and Chris Manzo moved to Hudson County. In September, 2011, Albert Manzo approached “his friend” Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari about implementing an auxiliary police program, appointing Albert Sr as a Special Chief’s Deputy and allowing Albie into the Hudson County Sheriff’s Department.
The Hudson County Freeholders Public Safety Committee was less than enthusiastic with Albert Manzo’s plan. They gave it a “thumbs down.” Freeholder Bill O’Dea said they were scaling back but if there came a time that they needed someone to head up the department it would be “a full time staff person.” Thanks but no thanks Manzo.
Welcome to Governor Christie’s world: where patronage jobs are eliminated and where the Manzo Family cannot rely on the taxpayers.