On the Stevens/FBW suit

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank the Hoboken Reporter for its recent fair and insightful coverage on an ongoing defamation case Stevens last year brought against Fund for a Better Waterfront. The Reporter has penetrated the case’s very real and complex issues, while admirably avoiding the temptation to portray this matter as the simplistic David and Goliath battle FBW likes to pretend it is. The court held that local developers Gans & Vallone did not have to produce evidence of agreements with the defendants, but that the defendants themselves should produce them. Implicit in this is the court’s belief that such documents shedding light on dealings between Gans & Vallone and FBW are potentially relevant and that they could show FBW’s motivations in this defamation case.

I wold also like to thank the Zoning Board members and Chairman Crimmins for their rational stance against the latest obstructionist tactics by FBW as we seek the approvals for a parking facility that will benefit both Hoboken and Stevens. FBW’s obstructionist patterns and misleading statements are tiresomely familiar. As Stevens’ primary public relations officer, it’s been part of my job to repeatedly, over many months, respond to and counter FBW’s assertions in local newspapers. There have been numerous stories clearly instigated by FBW itself, yet the group continues to point the finger at Stevens as engaging in a PR campaign against it, claiming (falsely) that the defamation suit against FBW is part of that campaign.

Community members who have been following this for years have told me they are getting weary of the prolonged he-said/she-said discourse being played out in the media. I quite understand. So am I. Still, I’d like to reiterate that Stevens bought the suit against FBW quite reluctantly after considerable defense of itself. Ask yourself honestly, did Stevens launch a public relations campaign against FBW? Hardly, and I am one who would know. Instead, the exact opposite is true. But be aware, it’s still going on.

Cass Bruton-Ward
Director, University Relations
Stevens Institute of Technology


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