×SETTLED — Hoboken settled the “Vape Van” issue. HOBOKEN — On Wednesday, May 17 the Hoboken City Council approved a settlement agreement with Joseph Ruggiero, owner of 9th Cloud Vape Van.The settlement states that Ruggiero will attend a minimum of 10 anger management / diversity training courses and will not operate his business before May 31, when his courses will be completed.Ruggiero and his business entered the spotlight recently after a video of Ruggiero went viral in which he is seen shouting at two individuals to “go home to your country” and calling them “Immis” (short for immigrants. )Officials condemned Ruggiero’s actions as hate speech and called for the council to revoke the vendor’s license to operate within city limits.The city also alleged that the Van owners had a history of parking violations.The settlement was approved in a 7-2 vote with councilman David Mello and council president Jen Giattino in dissent.Ruggiero’s attorney, James Lisa, said, “The reality is Mr Ruggiero voluntarily agreed to this… he wants the time to focus on his training…”Members of the council and public commented on the settlement.Councilman Michael DeFusco said “What I have an issue with beyond the fact that this gentleman’s speech was frightening, racist, and disturbing to say the least … but I hope this isn’t selective enforcement…because this is an election year.”The mayoral election is this November. Mayor Dawn Zimmer is up for re-election, and DeFusco may run against her.Councilman Ravi Bhalla, who is also up for reelection this year and is allied with Zimmer, said he finds this “reprehensible and patently offensive to accuse me of politicizing this issue.. you don’t know my track record…”Speaking of arguments, when Ruggiero was asked how he felt about the council’s vote, he said “No comment.”The video of him sparked debate on the internet. Many were angry at his epithets. But when the city threatened to revoke his license, some said it was a free speech issue.For more information pick up this weekend’s edition if the Hoboken Reporter or come to hudsonreporter.com starting Sunday. SETTLED — Hoboken settled the “Vape Van” issue.
"Hoboken City Council approves settlement agreement with Vape Van owner"