Perth Amboy Councilman Helmin Caba, who heads the local Democratic organization, blasted Mayor Wilda Diaz and her sister for their attacks on Council President William Petrick.
“Mayor Wilda Diaz, this is real news, and I am willing to take a polygraph test and start an investigation to prove it.” Caba said. “What about you?”
Diaz has attacked Petrick for posts he made on social media.
The statement, which started with a biblical passage – “then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” – says that he now regrets his decision to run on Diaz’s ticket two years ago
“Anyone who knows me can vouch for my character.” Caba said. “I believe that it is necessary to tell the entire truth and bring to light what is going on in Perth Amboy.”
Caba accused one of Diaz’s sisters, Nancy Soto Diaz, of targeting him, as well as other local elected officials who have grown sour with the mayor.
“I do not in any way condone Mr. Petrick’s reposting on social media,” Caba explained. “That said, Mayor’s Diaz and her sister’s timing to come out and express their outrage is definitely political and disingenuous at best.”
According to Caba, Diaz was retaliating against Petrick for his endorsement of Councilman Joel Pabon in the 2016 mayoral election.
“In the summer of 2016, at the campaign headquarters there was talk among the mayor’s campaign staff members regarding some of Councilman Petrick’s Facebook postings. In the fall of 2016, again at the campaign headquarters there were more conversations among the campaign staff regarding Mr. Petrick’s Facebook posting,” Caba said. “A decision was made by them to save it to use against him at a later date. On Tuesday, November 8th, 2016. We — Mayor Diaz, Councilman Fernando Irizarry and I — won the election.”
Caba said that a month after the election, Diaz and her staff pushed Irizarry and him to vote for Petrick as council president. He said Diaz was the one to corral Petrick’s votes.
The councilman also said that Diaz got Petrick to agree to back her candidates for the local school board last summer, and to attend a fundraiser for Diaz last December.
“During the winter of 2018, Council President Petrick had a falling out with Mayor Diaz due to several disagreements on the direction of Perth Amboy,” Caba said. “In addition, during the summer Council President Petrick decided to run for re-election with Councilman Joel Pabon and board of education member Milady Tejeda.”
That’s when things got rough.
“Soon afterward, Mayor Diaz’s sister Nancy posted that someone ‘just’ sent her disturbing snapshots of Mr. Petrick’s old Facebook postings. Mayor Diaz followed up by writing a press release questioning Council President Petrick’s ability to serve Perth Amboy due to the supposedly ‘new revelation’ of his old Facebook postings,” said Caba. “Since then the mayor, her sister and their political operatives have disingenuously called out state, county and city elected officials telling us to ask for Mr. Petrick’s resignation.”
Caba maintains that “these sorts of deceitful and calculated tactics are some of the reasons why at least 13 councilmen and councilwomen from the last 12 years don’t agree with Mayor Diaz’s leadership and direction for Perth Amboy.”
“We understand firsthand that the person she portrays in public is not the same person behind closed doors. Keep in mind that all of us are or were elected officials who supported you in the past and five that even ran on your ticket,” Caba said. “We come from different backgrounds and are of different ages, sex, race, color, religion and ethnic background. This speaks volume on how difficult it is working with Mayor Diaz. We as elected officials and all Perth Amboy residents deserve better.
Caba called on Diaz to end the distractions and concentrate on issues facing the city.
“Several people working for Mayor Diaz know all this to be true. They speak to me regularly, but are afraid of retribution,” said Caba. “What is important for the community to know is that Mayor Diaz, some of her family members and staff knew about Council President Petrick’s Facebook reposting’s back in 2016. However, since then they have sought his support, endorsement, and made him Council President, so why the outrage now and not back in 2016 or 2017? This speaks volume on the shadiness of Mayor Wilda Diaz, her sister Nancy and their inner circle.”