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Re: Mayor Healy Sent His Friend, a 72 Year Old Woman to Prison
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I have had the pleasure of seeing him out with his family getting loaded at The Lincoln Inn, before it closed. Got so drunk his wife had to shoot him up with insulin (I am assuming) right there at the table in the middle of dinner service. Wonderful sight, drunk and unable to care for himself.

Posted on: 2013/3/21 2:12
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Re: Mayor Healy Sent His Friend, a 72 Year Old Woman to Prison
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"But he's a good guy, I see him and his family at the local bar once in awhile." Sadly that is why many old timers like him. The best thing we can do is to get out a massive vote in DTJC for Fulop. By the way, has anyone else seen the Healy campaign team hanging out at the White Star on weekends during the day? During football season I'd see them getting loaded and going over what look like stacks of voter info print-outs.

Posted on: 2013/3/21 1:08
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Mayor Healy Sent His Friend, a 72 Year Old Woman to Prison
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He let Leona Beldini go to jail and take the fall for him and then he seeks re-election. How can anyone, in good conscience, vote for him?

Posted on: 2013/3/21 0:44
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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It's good to see that there is some bit of common sense on the books. That said, I'm still not 100% convinced that Beldini, Vega, etc had to give up their pensions, which likely have present values in the 7 figures.

Jersey Journal and any other local paper really should dig into this sort of thing...

Posted on: 2012/4/21 11:28
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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N.J. public employees convicted of misconduct must forfeit pension accrued at time of crime

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011 ... ules_public_employee.html

Posted on: 2012/4/21 3:05
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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Excellent question. I heard of a case recently where a cop was convicted of a felony after he could've pled down. He lost his pension. That was in Union County.

Posted on: 2012/4/21 2:14
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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does anyone know if the city will pay out pensions to the likes of Beldini, Vega, etc? Seems to me a felony should negate these huge unfunded liabilities, but with JC I wouldn't be surprised if they still get them. Anyone?

Posted on: 2012/4/20 23:27
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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Former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Beldini on her way to federal prison

Monday, April 16, 2012
By Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal

Former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini is now federal prisoner number 30118-050.

She boarded a plane yesterday morning to fly to Fort Worth, Texas to surrender at the Federal Medical Center Carswell, officials said.

Officials at the Department of Justice Command Center in Washington, DC, said yesterday they would not be able to confirm the 76-year-old?s arrival at the women?s facility until this morning.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons website listed the former Burlesque queen as being ?in transit? to the prison facility yesterday, and the website would not be updated until today.

Beldini, who was treasurer of Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy?s re-election campaign in 2009, was convicted in February 2010 on two counts of bribery. She was sentenced to three years in federal prison.

The jury found she accepted two $10,000 contributions from FBI informant Solomon Dwek in exchange for official action in helping Dwek get approvals for his supposed real-estate deals.

Beldini?s lawyer has said in court that she suffers from a number of medical issues. She left for Texas on a 6 a.m. flight accompanied by her son.

The former operator of a Central Avenue real estate office, Beldini was one of more than 40 people arrested in July 2009 as part of the FBI?s massive Bid Rig III probe. The investigation centered on information gathered by Dwek.

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... y_city_deputy_mayo_2.html

Posted on: 2012/4/20 22:08
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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A hearing to determine whether a convicted former deputy mayor finally has to go to prison has been postponed one day.
Leona Beldini had been scheduled to appear today in U.S. District Court in Newark to argue that she should get a new trial.
The former deputy mayor of Jersey City was convicted of bribery two years ago. She has been free on bail while the case is on appeal.
Beldini was finally ordered to report to jail last week, but that was pushed back so a judge could hear the latest arguments. Those will now be heard Tuesday.
Beldini was convicted of taking money from a federal informant who was posing as a corrupt developer. She claims the informant made improper remarks in his trial testimony.
smfh

Posted on: 2012/4/9 19:12
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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Did anybody here voted for her?

Posted on: 2012/3/24 0:40
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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Former Jersey City deputy mayor scheduled to report to prison has been hospitalized, her attorney says

Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 3:19 PM
By Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal

Less than two weeks before she was to enter federal prison, the attorney for corrupt former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini said today that she is hospitalized due to several strokes
and other health issues suffered following recent knee surgery.

"During her recovery from the knee surgery she developed a series of mini-strokes and an irregular heartbeat that has been difficult to control with medication, so she has been re-hospitalized," said attorney, Peter Willis.

The former burlesque dancer yis also experiencing erratic blood pressure, he said.

The 76-year-old was one of more than 40 people arrested in July 2009 as part of the massive federal Bid Rig III probe. The former treasure for the Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy's reelection campaign in 2009 was accused of accepting campaign contributions from FBI informant Solomon Dwek in exchange for a promise of helping him get approvals for his supposed real estate deals.

In February 2010, she was convicted of two counts of bribery for accepting two $10,000 contributions. Key evidence presented by prosecutors at trial was testimony by Dwek and the hidden videos he recorded. Four months later, Beldini was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to surrender to a Texas prison.

Beldini remained free on bail but after losing an appeal last September, prosecutors filed a motion to revoke her bail. Willis then filed a motion requesting the court stay her sentence indefinitely due her numerous health problems. He said she needs medications that may not be available in prison and has an abnormal heart beat that could require a pacemaker soon.
In his ruling, US District Court Jose Linares said Beldini will get adequate care in prison and set April 3 for her surrender.

Willis said Beldini underwent knee surgery about a year ago and afterward had continuing recurrences of blood infections that affected the knee. About 10 days ago she was admitted to have the knee operated and to get antibiotics intravenously, Willis said, adding that afterward, she suffered the health issues requiring her ongoing hospitalization.

Willis said by the end of the week he will file a new motion asking Linares to stay Beldini's sentence again.

The US Attorney's Office could not immediately be reached to comment on this matter.
http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... _city_deputy_mayo_11.html

Posted on: 2012/3/22 18:19
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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Ex-Jersey City deputy mayor Beldini must serve prison time, despite bad health

Friday, January 06, 2012, 8:05 AM
By Peggy McGlone/The Star-Ledger

NEWARK ? Leona Beldini is not too sick to serve prison time.

A federal judge yesterday ruled the former Jersey City deputy mayor?s poor health should not keep her from reporting to prison. Instead, U.S. District Judge Jose Linares ordered the former politician, who was convicted as part of the largest federal undercover sting operation in New Jersey history, to surrender April 3 to begin her three-year sentence.

Beldini, 76, was one of more than 40 people arrested July 23, 2009, as part of the FBI?s sweeping money-laundering and corruption sting. Ultimately, 46 were charged. The deputy mayor, a former burlesque dancer, was accused of accepting campaign contributions from federal informant Solomon Dwek in exchange for assisting him with his supposed real estate deals.

Beldini was the first of the sting?s defendants to go to trial.

In February 2010, she was convicted of two counts of bribery for accepting two $10,000 contributions. Her trial relied on hidden video recordings and the testimony of Dwek himself. At her sentencing four months later, Beldini was ordered to surrender to Carswell prison in Fort Worth, Texas.

But she remained free on bail, set in 2009 at $100,000, when Linares ruled the legal issues surrounding her trial were significant enough to warrant her continued freedom.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Beldini?s original conviction last September, and federal prosecutors filed a motion in October to revoke her bail.

Peter Willis, Beldini?s attorney, then filed a motion requesting the court to stay her sentence for health reasons. In his motion, Willis pointed out Beldini takes four daily medications that may not be available in prison. He also said she suffers from serious maladies ? including an abnormal heart rhythm that could require a pacemaker in the near future.

Willis asked the court to "stay the execution of Ms. Beldini?s sentence for an indeterminate period of time."

In his ruling, Linares notes that "in light of defendant?s advanced age and medical condition" the court requested and "extensively reviewed" her medical records as well as the federal bureau of prisons administrator?s letter following the bureau?s review of those records. Linares? ruling details the care the prison system would be able to provide, including its ability to attend to inmates with cardiovascular issues and "to provide any necessary pacemaker intervention."

"The court is satisfied that the defendant will adequately receive appropriate and timely medical care," Linares concluded.

However, Linares did delay Beldini?s surrender until April in order to allow her "time to explore any additional medical care or treatment (she) may need prior to the commencement of her sentence."

Willis said he plans to file additional motions before the April 3 surrender date.

"We have our work cut out for us," he said.

Posted on: 2012/1/8 5:17
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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Attorney for corrupt former Jersey City deputy mayor argues for new delay in sending her to prison, says she needs a pacemaker installed in a few months and has other health issues

Friday, November 18, 2011, 3:02 AM
By Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal

NEWARK The attorney representing Leona Beldini argued yesterday that prison time could prove fatal for the 76-year-old former Jersey City deputy mayor, who was found guilty in February 2010 of accepting bribes.

Before U.S. District Court Judge Jose Linares, attorney Peter Willis said the prison system is ill-equipped to care for Beldini, who was sentenced in June 2010 to three years in federal prison at a facility in Texas.

Beldini will need a pacemaker in six to 12 months, Willis said, adding the prison system only provides one of the five drugs she needs for cardiac problems.

And serving her term 1,500 miles from her nearest relative amounts to cruel and unusual punishment that would be potentially fatal, he argued.

?I just think that we should all pause and ask ourselves what is it we are trying accomplish in this case,? said Willis, who also noted Beldini has had at least two strokes and recently underwent knee surgery.

?Are we really trying to put Miss Beldini through the nightmare of nightmares in this facility,? he added.
Willis asked Linares for time to ensure that Beldini can get the drugs she needs at the prison and to get a pacemaker prior to beginning her sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Moser argued that the Federal Bureau of Prisons is capable of caring for prisoners? medical needs and said Beldini?s request for a stay amounts to stalling.

?At the end of the day, what they want is to delay the inevitable, and I said that back in 2010 when the motion was filed,? said Moser, adding that the B.O.P. has said it can care for Beldini and that she can stay on her current medications until she is evaluated by prison medical staff.

?The Bureau of Prisons deals with thousands and thousands of prisoners that have significant medical issues,? Moser said. ?We are not planning a honeymoon here.?

Linares said yesterday he would decide soon whether to revoke Beldini?s bail and assign a surrender date.

Beldini was found guilty of taking $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions for Mayor Jerramiah Healy from FBI informant Solomon Dwek, the key witness in the massive Operation Bid Rig III sting.

Posted on: 2011/11/20 16:24
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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U.S. Attorney's Office asks judge to revoke bail of ex-Jersey City deputy mayor, send her to prison

Wednesday, September 07, 2011, 5:50 PM
By Jason Grant/The Star-Ledger

Former Jersey City deputy Mayor Leona Beldini leaves Federal Court in Newark. After losing an appeal, she asked a federal judge today to revoke her bail and put her in jail.

JERSEY CITY ? A day after former deputy Jersey City mayor Leona Beldini lost her appeal, the U.S. Attorney?s Office today asked a federal judge to revoke her bail and send her to prison.

Beldini, 76, was convicted in February 2010 of two counts of bribery after a nine-day federal trial in Newark. She was later sentenced to three years in prison, but U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares allowed her to remain free on bail while she appealed.

On Tuesday, the 3rd Circuit appeals court upheld Beldini?s conviction. In blunt language, including "this argument has no merit," the court?s 26-page opinion knocked down her major contentions, including her position that flawed instructions were given to the jury.

The court said Beldini?s attorney, Brian Neary, had failed at trial to raise the issue of flawed jury instructions. As a result, the court said, it was only bound to determine whether the jury instructions constituted "plain error." It found they did not.

In today's motion, signed by both U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra L. Moser and filed in Newark, the prosecutors note the ruling and ask Linares to revoke Beldini?s bail and designate a surrender date for her.

It?s unclear when Linares will rule on the motion.
A telephone call to Neary was not immediately returned today.

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Fishman said of the 3rd Circuit?s ruling: "We are pleased that the court of appeals shares our confidence that Beldini?s conviction was appropriate."

Posted on: 2011/9/8 14:37
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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so does this mean Vega can stall for another couple years and Beldini ultimately walks?

Unbelievable that a federal case like this seems to be fizziling out and JC goes back to biz as usual...

Posted on: 2010/8/4 17:46
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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Beldini's attorney: 'Political contributions are not bribes'
Judge allows ex-Jersey City official Beldini to remain free during appeal of corruption conviction Published: Friday, July 30, 2010, 5:37 PM Updated: Saturday, July 31, 2010, 7:49 AM Brian T. Murray/The Star-Ledger JERSEY CITY ? Former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini will not have to go to prison until an appeals court decides claims she had an unfair trial when she was convicted on federal corruption charges in February. U.S. District Court Judge Jose Linares in Newark ruled today that Beldini, 76, need not surrender Monday, when she was scheduled to begin a three year prison term on charges she accepted $20,000 in corrupt campaign contributions. Contending the legal issues raised in her appeal are "sufficiently significant" and that she could wind up serving her time before an appeals court rules, Linares let her remain free on $100,000 bail. "We are very pleased with the court?s decision," said Brian Neary, her lawyer. A spokesperson for U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The appeal is based on recent federal court rulings shaping the law on corrupt campaign contributions. Neary contends Beldini?s trial was flawed because her jury should have been given specific legal instructions explaining they must find she willingly and knowingly engaged in corruption to find her guilty of bribery. Beldini was convicted of accepting illegal campaign contributions for the 2009 campaign fund of Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, who was not charged. During her nine-day trial, Neary argued Beldini did not profit and was duped by an informant into making seemingly incriminating statements. The legal instruction would have made a difference, said Neary, to a jury that convicted Beldini on two bribery counts, but acquitted her of the most serious offenses of conspiracy to commit extortion and two counts of attempted extortion. The informant and central figure in the case, Solomon Dwek, was a confessed real estate swindler who posed as a developer for the FBI, offering pay-offs for building approvals. He snagged Beldini, a one-time burlesque dancer, along with 45 other state legislators, mayors, political operatives and rabbis arrested last year in a sprawling money-laundering and bribery probe. Other corruption convictions are starting to unravel in New Jersey because of changes in federal law. The most significant was the U.S. Supreme Court?s narrowing of the "theft of honest services" statute, ruling it may apply to cases of bribes and kickbacks, not conflicts of interest. On Thursday, a federal judge tossed out the conviction of Joseph A. Ferriero, once a top Democratic power broker, who marketed his grant-writing services company to Bergen County towns where he had connections, but without disclosing his ownership.

Posted on: 2010/8/4 16:40
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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Judge says ex-Jersey City deputy mayor Beldini could have walked away from the bribes
Published: Tuesday, June 15, 2010, 5:20 AM Updated: Tuesday, June 15, 2010, 5:10 AM
Joe Ryan/The Star-Ledger

JERSEY CITY ? Moments before sending her to prison, the judge reminded Leona Beldini that she could have walked away from the bribes.

Instead, the former Jersey City deputy mayor met four times with an FBI informant and took $20,000 after he jabbered incessantly about trading building approvals for payoffs disguised as campaign contributions. "Any reasonable person listening to him would know he was crook," U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares told Beldini Monday in federal court in Newark.

And with that, the judge sentenced her to three years behind bars, marking the longest term yet for a defendant charged in connection to last year?s massive FBI sting. Linares also ordered Beldini to pay a $30,000 fine.

Nearly 11 months have passed since federal authorities arrested scores of state legislators, mayors, political operatives and rabbis following a sprawling money-laundering and bribery probe. Of the 46 people charged, two have been convicted by juries. Another 18 have pleaded guilty, including a Hoboken man, Michael Schaffer, who on Monday admitted passing bribes to the city?s former mayor.

Beldini, a 75-year-old Democrat, was convicted on two of the six corruption counts she faced following a two-week trial in January and, under sentencing guidelines, faced up to four years and three months in jail. The one-time burlesque dancer sat silently during most of Monday's hearing, wearing a white jacket, a black skirt and pearl earrings. Moments before Linares announced her sentence, Beldini told the judge she had never been so afraid. "I stand before you facing the most terrifying moment of my whole life," Beldini said, her voice shaking.

She told of growing up poor and leaving home at age 17 to escape an alcoholic mother and abusive stepfather. Beldini wound up a dancer and performed for decades in seedy clubs from Boston to Toledo under the stage name "Hope Diamond, Gem of the Exotics." She raised a son and daughter and became a real estate agent.

In 2004, Beldini was named deputy mayor by her longtime friend, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy. She was also his campaign manager, and last year had a series of meetings with Solomon Dwek, the FBI informant who posed as a crooked real estate developer trying to trade cash for building permits.

Beldini?s lawyer, Brian J. Neary, urged Linares to spare her from prison, saying she had serious health problems and didn?t profit from the money, which went to Healy?s campaign. The mayor was not charged.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Moser argued Beldini?s crime required incarceration, saying "the scourge of corruption strikes at the very heart of our democratic system of government."

Beldini betrayed no emotion as Linares announced the sentence. Before leaving the courtroom, she exchanged hugs with friends. One turned to reporters and said three years in prison would be a "life sentence" for Beldini. Outside the courthouse, her lawyer said he would ask that she be allowed to remain free on bail pending appeal.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said the sentence should serve as a warning to other public officials. Michael B. Ward, head of the FBI?s Newark office, called it "yet another unfortunate reminder of the pervasiveness of corruption."

Posted on: 2010/6/18 2:28
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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Ambiguity dominates sentencing for ex-Jersey City deputy mayor Beldini in N.J. corruption case Published: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 5:30 AM Updated: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 5:32 AM Bob Braun/Star-Ledger Columnist As you from crimes would pardon?d be, Let your indulgence set me free. JERSEY CITY ? Brian Neary, the Hoboken criminal defense lawyer known for courtroom antics and merciless cross examinations, tried a different approach the other day to keep his convicted client out of jail. He quoted Shakespeare. It didn?t work. Former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini got three years. Of course, the sentence could have been worse, so maybe his recital of the closing lines from ?The Tempest? did move federal Judge Jose Linares. Linares, clearly uncomfortable about jailing a 75-year-old with a heart condition, imposed a sentence below federal guidelines that called for 41 months and also spared her the usual harsh criticisms some judges heap on convicted clients. The worst he said was ? any reasonable person ? should have seen Solomon Dwek, the corrupt government witness who brought her down, ?was a crook.?? He was right. If stupidity were a capital crime, the politicians nailed by Dwek and taxpayers' money the admitted swindler spread around would all have been hanged by now. But Neary does us a favor by citing these lines from Shakespeare because their meaning?from a soliloquy by Prospero, a wronged but forgiving man?has been debated for centuries as among the most ambiguous ever written by the playwright. As ambiguous, really, as this corruption sting that brought Beldini to prison gates for the crime of playing a role ? an ambiguous one ? in obtaining $20,000 in contributions to the campaign of a mayor, Jerramiah Healy, who was already awash in $3 million in campaign funds and didn't need it. A mayor who was never charged. As Linares said, Beldini never received money. Her promises to Dwek were ambiguous: Cutting red tape, ?flipping a pile? of applications. She was acquitted of seeking bribes, but convicted of receiving one - this by jurors drawn from a state where popular belief in official corruption is a helpful canard encouraged by those who sell books, run in elections, promote television series and need material for stand-up routines. Beldini had a ceremonial, non-elected job, with no votes on any board or commission. The bribe scenario was a fiction created by the government as a sort of random test of integrity and had the look of a drama set to explode right before an election ? though federal officials strongly deny any such thinking. At the sentencing, federal prosecutor Sandra Moser said Beldini exemplified corruption that ?strikes at the very heart of our democratic system of government.? Oh, please. Anyone who passes by the halls of Congressional offices even as a tourist sees how corporate lobbyists use financial power to bend democratically?elected politicians. Anyone who reads biographies of federal appointees will see they either made political contributions themselves or were close to those who did. All perfectly legal. Neary is appealing Beldini?s conviction, arguing what she did was, at worst, a technical violation of state election law, that would not bring a prison term. Because of the appeal, she had to stand before Linares and beg for mercy without expressing remorse ? and that was noted both by the judge and Moser. "That?s one of the most difficult things a defendant faces ? if she admits guilt, that would affect her appeal and, if she wins a new trial, her statements could be used against her," says John McDonald, a Somerville lawyer not involved in the case. Neary was right to use the Shakespeare soliloquy. Scholars disagree on its meaning. Some say they don?t know if any meaning at all can drawn from it. Kind of like wondering what meaning at all can be drawn from sending an old, sick woman to jail for three years for a crime conjured up by a self-admitted crook using public money, a crime that hurt no one and did not enrich its perpetrator. After he ordered Beldini jailed, Linares, who has said he hates sentencings, walked through a crowd in the lobby of the courthouse in Newark on his way to lunch. Someone called out, ?How are you feeling, judge?? "Not good,? said Linares. Ambiguously.
NJ corruption trial hidden camera video of Solomon Dwek talking to Leona Beldini about political contributions and real estate projects
U.S. Attorney pleased with the result of Leona Beldini Case

Posted on: 2010/6/18 2:20
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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You can blame these people all you want, but until the good people of JC wise up and stop re-electing these LSRS, you're just going to get bridaled with the same cast of characters every 4 years!

Posted on: 2010/6/16 0:42
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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Maybe when she gets out of prison, she can run for mayor. We already have one that is a convicted criminal. It should work out well for her.

Posted on: 2010/6/15 21:26
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Re: Former Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini Sentenced to Three Years
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Quote:

djh101 wrote:
Ironic for me that I just saw our friendly neighborhood felon Leona in person for the first time about a week and a half ago. She sat a couple tables away from me at Renato's.

There will be no hot antipasto in prison, sweetie.

God riddance.


Heres some food for thought, just think of how much money she and her cronies actually got away with prior to getting snagged by the feds......

Good riddance is right!!!

Posted on: 2010/6/15 16:33
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Re: Former Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini Sentenced to Three Years
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Was mentioned on the early show on NBC this AM.

Posted on: 2010/6/15 14:35
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Re: Former Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini Sentenced to Three Years
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Ironic for me that I just saw our friendly neighborhood felon Leona in person for the first time about a week and a half ago. She sat a couple tables away from me at Renato's.

There will be no hot antipasto in prison, sweetie.

God riddance.

Posted on: 2010/6/15 2:03
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Re: Former Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini Sentenced to Three Years
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Just curious, was there a video showing her take the cash? Everyone has said the mayor has not been arrested because there is no video showing him take the cash, but if the diner video with Dwek was used as evidence for Beldini, it would seem our mayor is guilty for the same thing, after all you can clearly hear Dwek tell the mayor as he\'s shaking his hand, \"I got that $10.000 now and $10.000 later\" which Healy replies \"thank you very much its good for us and good for the city.

Posted on: 2010/6/14 22:09
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Former Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini Sentenced to Three Years
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By Jon Whiten ? Jun 14th, 2010 ? Category: Blog, News, Politics

Former Jersey City deputy mayor and Healy campaign treasurer Leona Beldini was sentenced today to three years in prison by a federal district judge.

Beldini was the first of the dozens arrested in last summer?s corruption probe to opt for a trial, which didn?t go so well. She was found guilty in February of accepting $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions from FBI informant Solomon Dwek during the 2009 mayoral campaign. Her boss, Mayor Jerramiah Healy, was named in several complaints and seen in FBI surveillance video, but never charged.

John Bohrer, who covered the Beldini trial for the Independent, is spending time in Chicago this summer covering the trial of Rod Blagojevich for Esquire. He says the entire probe highlights the need for tighter ethics rules in politics.

?As long as the unethical remains legal, politicians will continue to cross into the illegal, harming the public and exposing themselves to incarceration and personal ruin,? he says. ?Healy and his crew should thank the do-gooders and reformers they curse, no matter how pie-eyed they might be. They are saving them from themselves.?

Beldini, who is 75 years old, was ordered to report to prison by Aug. 2, according to the Associated Press. Expect an appeal.

http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... sentenced-to-three-years/

Posted on: 2010/6/14 19:38
The Jersey City Independent is the alternative news and culture source for Jersey City.
www.jerseycityindependent.com or jcindy.com
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Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini Sentenced
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> New Jersey Real-Time News > Crime/Courts
Former Jersey City deputy mayor Leona Beldini gets three years in prison
Published: Monday, June 14, 2010, 12:05 PM Updated: Monday, June 14, 2010, 1:54 PM
Joe Ryan/The Star-Ledger Joe Ryan/The Star-Ledger


Leona Beldini, a former Jersey City deputy mayor convicted of bribery in connection to last summer's sweeping FBI sting, was sentenced today in federal court in Newark to three years in prison.
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The 75-year-old Democrat stood silently as U.S. District Judge Jose Linares announced her sentence. She must also pay a $30,000 fine.

Beldini faced up to four years and three months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. Before being sentenced, she asked Linares for mercy, saying she had never before been so afraid.

"I stand before you facing the most terrifying moment of my whole life,? Beldini said, her voice shaking.

She was found guilty in February of accepting $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions in exchange for promising to help secure development approvals. The case was among dozens to stem from the massive sting anchored by Solomon Dwek, an admitted real estate swindler who became an FBI informant. He spent more than two years posing as a crooked real estate developer trying to trade envelopes of cash for building permits.

Beldini?s lawyer, Brian J. Neary, urged Linares to spare her from prison, saying she suffered from myriad health problems and had already suffered tremendously as a result of the conviction. ?She has lost a career. She has lost a business. She has lost the admiration for her community,? Neary said.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Moser argued Beldini's crime required incarceration, saying public corruption undermines the system binding our society together.

?The scourge of corruption strikes at the very heart of our democratic system of government,? Moser said.

Beldini was treasurer for Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, and authorities say the cash went into his campaign. The mayor was not charged.

Posted on: 2010/6/14 18:46
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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On a positive note, at least Leona can return and work for JC under the 'return to work program for felons' !

Posted on: 2010/5/25 10:33
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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Judge upholds N.J. corruption conviction of ex-Jersey City deputy mayor

By Joe Ryan/The Star-Ledger
May 24, 2010, 6:00PM

JERSEY CITY ? A federal judge in Newark today upheld the conviction of a former Jersey City deputy mayor found guilty in connection with last year?s massive FBI sting, dismissing her lawyer?s argument that the federal bribery statue does not apply to political donations.

Leona Beldini was convicted in February of accepting $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions in exchange for promising to help secure development approvals.

"Certainly there was sufficient evidence in this case," U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares said.

Beldini was charged in July along with scores of others in a corruption and money-laundering probe anchored by Solomon Dwek, an admitted real estate swindler who became an FBI informant. He spent more than two years posing as a crooked real estate developer trying to trade envelopes of cash for building permits.

The 75-year-old Democrat was treasurer for Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, and authorities say the cash went into his campaign. But Neary contends in his legal filing prosecutors failed to prove Beldini received anything of value.

Linares has scheduled her sentencing for June 14.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Judge rejects Beldini's bid to have corruption convictions overturned

By Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal
May 24, 2010, 3:00PM

A U.S. District Court judge today dismissed all the motions to overturn the corruption convictions of disgraced former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini.

Judge Jose Linares, who has heard the majority of the corruption cases stemming from Operation Bid Rig, upheld the convictions -- two counts of bribery for accepting campaign contributions in exchange for her influence in fast-tracking a development project. The project, it turns out, never existed.

Beldini was found not guilty of the more serious charges -- extortion under the color of official right. Beldini is scheduled to be sentenced of June 14 at 10 a.m. in front of Linares.

Operation Bid Rig was a federal sting that ensnared dozens of public officials and politicians. Beldini and former South Jersey Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt are the first two to go to trial and both were convicted.

Beldini's attorney, Brian Neary, argued that the jury was "inconsistent" when the panel acquitted her of extortion, yet convicted her of bribery. Both the extortion and bribery counts accused her of accepting the same $20,000 in campaign donations (bribes) for Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy. Healy has not been accused of any wrongdoing.


Neary contends that the federal government confused the jury into believing "something" illegal happened and a confused jury "did what they were told to do by the government: shoehorn alleged campaign violations into the federal program's bribery statute."

Posted on: 2010/5/25 4:46
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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Once the 2010 census is done and the numbers put Jersey City as the states most populated how are services, which are being cut, increase to accomodate the state mandated requirement for population needs. The waterfront zone is abated. The added burden will fall upon the already over-taxed citizen who are now facing a 25% increase if the present budget is adopted as I fear it will. The corrupt swine who run this city have to go as the Journal says. Whatever the answer is to restore this city to some level of decency does not lie with those presently in office.

Posted on: 2010/2/16 1:34
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Re: Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini -- convicted of bribery
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Editorial: Being inept has its human consequences
By The Jersey Journal
February 15, 2010, 2:20PM

The joke that is Jersey City government never ends. The latest punchline came with the conviction of suspended Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini for taking $20,000 in bribes that went into Mayor Jerramiah Healy's re-election campaign last year.
This is the same Healy who sat in two meetings when the "bribe" money was discussed and failed to see what the jurors did. Yes, the mayor was not charged with any wrongdoing. This leaves the possibility of a huge ethical lapse, or a person so disengaged from his surroundings that one would have to question his ability to function as chief executive of the second largest city in New Jersey.
Besides Beldini, Healy has embraced former city employees Guy Catrillo and Maher Khalil, Philip Kenny, a former city councilman, and Edward Cheatam, a former Jersey City Housing Authority commissioner and school board member.
They pleaded guilty to either taking cash or agreeing to accept cash from FBI informant Solomon Dwek, who testified for the prosecution in the Beldini trial.
Others who also pleaded guilty are Denis Jaslow, former Hudson County Superintendent of Elections investigator, Jimmy King, past city Parking Authority director, and LaVern Webb-Washington and Michael Manzo, both failed City Council candidates.
Among those awaiting trial is a big member of the Healy circle, city Councilman Mariano Vega, who spent most of his time on the local governing body as its president and head of the committee that grants tax abatements. Vega has stubbornly refused to resign from the City Council. There is no way he can function while trying to defend himself from corruption charges. Vega has made no discernible contributions to issues that concern residents.
Healy has shown Vega-like competency. This federal investigation marks him as an official big embarrassment.
Even if people are capable of forgetting about his scuffling with Bradley Beach police after a night of drinking, his City Hall entourage acting like drunken buffoons in Atlantic City, his poor choices for deputy mayors, and the corruption, they know the mayor is incapable of solving the city's financial mess. After years of one-shot gimmicks, there is no more smoke and mirrors.
Last week, city officials announced that 271 city employees, part-timers and seasonal workers will lose their jobs Feb. 26. The effect on a budget that requires a $40 million increase in the tax levy is minimal.
It is either cut major services, which means laying off the Civil Service classified workforce, or allow the tax increases to stand. By delaying, more classified workers than necessary will lose employment. Instead, Healy tiptoes because he cannot make the hard decisions. Being inept has its human consequences.
The mayor announced last month that four fire companies are closing and the city's arson unit was being scaled back. It is little savings compared to the tax levy, but what is the cost in terms of safety?
In 1997, when Healy ran an unsuccessful campaign to unseat then Mayor Bret Schundler, he claimed to have a solution for the city's fiscal problems. He said he would request a state audit of city finances to try to find new ways to cut spending. Was it politically expedient for the mayor to have forgotten his own remedy? It is a good bet that Republican Gov. Chris Christie would be willing to show him how to streamline city government.
The Jersey Journal again calls on Healy to acknowledge that he is in over his head and for the sake of the city he claims to love resign his office. There is no legacy here to save. A resignation would allow residents some hope for a better future.

Posted on: 2010/2/16 0:06
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