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'Not one dollar goes' to the mayor or Beldini
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'Not one dollar goes' to the mayor or Beldini

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

NEWARK - Government informant Solomon Dwek was using Leona Beldini in an effort to snare Mayor Jerramiah Healy, Beldini defense lawyer Brian Neary told the jury hearing her corruption case yesterday.

Make no mistake, Neary said in his closing argument, "the target of Solomon Dwek, con man par excellence, is Mayor Jerry Healy."

Healy, who is on the tapes made surreptitiously by Dwek as part of a wide-ranging government sting, hasn't been charged and maintains he did nothing wrong.

"It is very important that when we talk about the cash corruption at the essence of this case, the $400,000, not one dollar goes to Jerry Healy, and . not one dollar goes to Leona Beldini," Neary said.

Through his spokeswoman yesterday, Healy declined to comment as the investigation is ongoing and the trial is in progress.

MICHAELANGELO CONTE

Posted on: 2010/2/9 16:21
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http://www.nj.com/hobokennow/index.ss ... v_corzine_settles_in.html

Former Gov. Corzine talks about life in Hoboken, the corruption scandal and the future

By Mark Maurer/The Jersey Journal
February 07, 2010, 10:30AM

Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine is interviewed by The Jersey Journal at his Maxwell Place home in Hoboken.
More than two weeks have passed since Jon Corzine moved out of the governor?s home at Drumthwacket to be succeeded by Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who beat him in November?s election.

In blue jeans and a navy blue turtleneck at his penthouse condo on the southeast corner of Maxwell Place in Hoboken, Corzine is now in his comfort zone, recovering from a long jolt of public and media attention.

The Democrat says he plans to reside in Hudson County?s square-mile city indefinitely following a demanding decade serving as U.S. senator from 2001 to 2006 and governor from 2006 until Jan.19 of this year.

Corzine, who grew up in Illinois, moved to Hoboken's Hudson Tea building in 2003 after separating from his wife, and then relocated to his current digs in 2008. At 62, he jokes that he elevates the average age of the building?s denizens by at least 10 years.

The walls are lined with Matisse paintings and miscellaneous artwork from his offices dating back to the days of Goldman Sachs, where he served as CEO for four years until he was ousted from his perch in a 1998 coup. The view overlooks Stevens Institute of Technology and the Hudson River on a cloudy day whitened by foggy mist and light snow. He lives alone but employs a state-funded two-member transition team to assist him with day-to-day operations for the next six months.

"One of the things I haven't been thinking a lot about since I left office is politics,? he says in a wide-ranging interview with The Jersey Journal last week.

But he's still thinking about running -- albeit at New York Sports Clubs.

He's also making plans to see his grandchildren and catching up on reading a stack of books.

And yet as a now full-time resident of Hudson County, he has been a careful observer of the ongoing corruption trial, arrests and ongoing investigations of political officials.
Pointing to the colossal N.J. sting operation in July and the fallout in Hudson, Corzine said that accepting campaign contributions in cash in exchange for favors is highly unacceptable.

?None of this is attractive,? Corzine said. ?The discussion of it undermines the credibility of government in the public?s mind and makes even stronger the argument that we need to take steps to give people assurance that this behavior is going to change.?

Pay-to-play, or commercial bribery, gets at defining what might be legal in today?s context, but to the public, it looks pretty unethical on any basis, he said.

Joseph Doria, who resigned as Department of Community Affairs commissioner under Corzine?s administration last year after the FBI searched his office and home, was recently linked to the corruption sting by FBI cooperator Solomon Dwek in court although the testimony indicated Dwek didn't know whether money said he intended to go to Doria ever reached him.

Corzine said he hates that Doria got caught up in this snarl, effectively compromising the decisions he would have made as DCA commissioner. He commented that there have been a number of people brought into scandals like this, who had their ethics challenged and were then proven innocent.

?I think closure ought to be brought into the circumstances so that his reputation can be restored,? Corzine said. ?He got pulled into this whole broader scheme, at least from what I?m able to discern. There?s not much connection of any.?

A federal jury viewed a video in the bribery trial of suspended Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini last month, giving the public a ringside seat into a meeting Dwek had with Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy. Corzine said he feels Healy should absolutely not resign based on the available facts. Healy has made his case that he did nothing wrong within the context of the law, he said.

?People need to be very focused on the quality and character of the candidates,? Corzine said. ?At the end of the day, if somebody wants to cheat, we can probably write the strictest laws in the world and you will still find people circumventing those kinds of challenges.?

Corzine?s confident that his experience and advice can be of great value and service to the improvement of the state?s Democratic Party. He said Democrats need to get more organized in ensuring there?s enthusiasm about issues like education and healthcare to effectively mobilize people when it?s time to vote.

?I think we?ve taken for granted too long that Democrats will turn out on the day of elections,? Corzine said. ?As we?ve seen in Virginia, Massachusetts and particularly in New Jersey, a falloff in the core Democratic vote is undermining our political decisions.?

He stands behind his administration as governor for its dearth of illegal indiscretions.

?One of my greatest prides is that I don?t think, if you look at the record, there?s anyone in my administration that has fallen prey to taking cash for actions or using their office for monetary gain,? Corzine said.

Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine is interviewed by The Jersey Journal at his Maxwell Place home in Hoboken.
Despite spending the past decade committed to public service, Corzine conceded he has probably seen his last election.

?I doubt very seriously that I?ll ever be on the elected side of things again,? he said,? but never say never.?
Although it was recently reported that Corzine is in talks to teach part-time at Rutgers University, he said he has drawn no conclusions on which university he will potentially teach at next fall.

Corzine does consider returning to the world of finance and banking where he started in career in the 1970s. His ideas are broad-gauged: set up his own company, be an executive of a company or work for a financial intermediary. There?s still a need for risk taking, risk allocation, underwriting and advice giving, he said, in the economic system.

Nursing a cold, Corzine spoke softly about his life?s figurative bucket list, which includes spending time with family, appreciating Hoboken and fly fishing in Idaho this summer. He hopes to spend a couple weeks a year with his three grandchildren who live with his two sons in California, and in Brooklyn, with his daughter, spokesman Josh Zeitz said.
Asked about his relationship with girlfriend Sharon Elghanayan and whether marriage is in the works, Corzine replied with a chuckle.

?I don?t think you?ll be the first to know," he said.

Posted on: 2010/2/7 21:27
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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Defense rests in corruption trial of Jersey City deputy mayor

By Joe Ryan/The Star-Ledger
February 05, 2010, 5:42PM

Suspended Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini, right, and her attorney, Brian Neary, leave federal court in Newark on Jan. 28.

Without calling a single witness, the defense lawyer for a Jersey City deputy mayor rested his case today in the first corruption trial to stem from last year?s sweeping FBI sting.
"On behalf of Leona Beldini, the defense will rest," said the lawyer, Brian J. Neary.

The move sets the stage for closing arguments Monday in federal court in Newark in the case of Beldini, a 74-year-old Democrat. She is accused of accepting $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions from a government informant who posed as a developer and offered bribes in exchange for building approvals.

A jury of eight men and four women could begin deliberating Beldini?s fate as early as Monday afternoon. She faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

It is relatively common for defense lawyers to not call witnesses. Prosecutors must prove cases beyond a reasonable doubt, but not defendants. So if defense lawyers feel the government has not proved guilt ? or believe they have cast ample doubt during cross examination ? they sometimes send the case directly to the jury.

"If you have shown there is reasonable doubt in the case through your cross examination, what is the need of boring the jurors?" said Michael P. Koribanics, a defense lawyer and former Hudson County assistant prosecutor.

Beldini was charged in the money-laundering and corruption sting that led to charges against 46 people, including five rabbis, three mayors, two state legislators and one Brooklyn man accused of conspiring to sell a human kidney.

The prosecution?s case hinged on a single government informant, Solomon Dwek, who secretly made video recordings of rabbis who supposedly laundered money and public officials who allegedly took bribes.

Those black-and-white videos comprised the bulk of the government?s case against Beldini, a realtor. They depict 2009 meetings at a luncheonette and a diner where, authorities say, Beldini agreed to help Dwek secure zoning changes for a 750-unit condominium building in exchange for campaign contributions to Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy. Dwek also promised to make Beldini, the mayor?s campaign treasurer, the exclusive broker for the project, authorities said. Healy has not been charged.

Neary has argued the charges were based on ambiguous statements taken out of context by prosecutors. He argued yesterday the charges should be dropped, saying prosecutors had failed to prove their case. Federal District Judge Jose L. Linares denied the motion.

Beldini is not accused of accepting money directly from Dwek. Instead, authorities say, he funneled the campaign contributions through two consultants also charged in the case, Jack Shaw and Edward Cheatam. Shaw died of a Valium overdose five days after his arrest in July. Cheatam pleaded guilty in September and had been expected to testify.

The trial, expected to last three weeks, will go to the jury after less than nine days. The government called just four witnesses. Prosecutors did not question any FBI agents. Nor did they question Cheatam. His lawyer and a spokesman for the U.S. attorney?s office declined to discuss why.

Posted on: 2010/2/6 13:55
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NJ corruption trial hidden camera video of Cheatam Shaw and Dwek talking about Beldini
Prosecution rests in Beldini corruption trial without calling Ed Cheatam By Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal February 04, 2010, 3:22PM Resized Image Former Jersey City housing official/school board member Edward Cheatam, who was also an affirmative action officer for Hudson County, is seen during one of the secretly videotaped meetings he had with government informant Solomon Dwek. He had been expected to testify against Leona Beldini, but the prosecution rested this afternoon without calling him. The federal government rested its corruption case against Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy's campaign treasurer this afternoon without calling to the witness stand former Jersey City housing official/school board member Ed Cheatam. Federal informant Solomon Dwek had portrayed Cheatam and political consultant Jack Shaw as the "bagmen'' for treasurer Leona Beldini, who also served as a $66,000-a-year deputy mayor. Cheatam has already pleaded guilty in the case and Shaw has since died. Neither Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Calcagni nor defense attorney Brian Neary would comment on why Cheatam isn't being called by the prosecution. Reached at home just now, Cheatam declined to comment for The Jersey Journal. In all, the prosecution called four witnesses: Dwek, a former FBI agent who installed wiretaps in Shaw's phones, Shaw's girlfriend and a bookkeeper for the Healy campaign and Jersey City Democratic Committee. Court has broken for the day and is set to resume at 9:30 a.m. in U.S. District Court Judge Jose Linares's Newark court. Beldini is accused of taking $20,000 in bribes from Dwek and funneling it into illegal campaign contributions. ========================================= Proscution rests in Beldini corruption trial without calling Ed Cheatam Friday, February 05, 2010 MICHAELANGELO CONTE JOURNAL STAFF WRITER NEWARK - Prosecutors rested yesterday in the government's case against suspended Jersey City deputy mayor Leona Beldini. And the biggest shocker was who they did not call to testify. Aside from Solomon Dwek, the government informant who testified Beldini extorted $20,000 from him for the re-election campaign kitty of Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, the other key witness for the prosecution had been expected to be Edward Cheatam. Cheatam and political consultant Jack Shaw allegedly funneled the money from Dwek to the campaign and acted as intermediaries with Beldini. Shaw was discovered dead in his apartment from a Valium overdose days after his arrest. So Cheatam, who has already pleaded guilty to taking bribes from Dwek, was expected to be a key prosecution witness. But he wasn't called to the stand. "No matter how you look at it, Cheatam is the go-between, the middle man on all these cases, and if he can't testify, it's a big problem for the government," said Jersey City Attorney Peter Willis yesterday. Willis is hardly a disinterested party. He represents Jersey City City Councilman Mariano Vega Jr. and former Jersey City Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith, who, like Beldini, were arrested in last July's massive corruption sweep and are charged with taking bribes from Dwek. Willis speculated that Cheatam may have thrown a monkey wrench in the government's plans. Either "Cheatam reneged on his cooperation agreement," Willis suggested, or "in reviewing the prospects of putting Cheatam on the stand, for unknown reasons that have to do with credibility, the government decided it was too risky." Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Calcagni declined to answer any questions on the topic after court yesterday, as did Brian Neary, Beldini's attorney. Reached by phone, Cheatam also declined to comment. Cheatam is not an issue in the Vega case, but he is part of the government's case against Smith since Cheatam introduced Dwek to his client, Willis said. Prosecutors rested their case at 3:15 p.m. yesterday and Neary is expected to start presenting his defense this morning. He wouldn't say yesterday who is on the witness list. The trial resumes at 9:30 a.m. before U.S. District Court Judge Jose Linares.

Posted on: 2010/2/5 13:18
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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We send troops to war against corrupt governments!

Posted on: 2010/2/4 19:57
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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this is possibly the best place to post the link to today's jersey journal editorial calling for the immediate resignation of healy
my favorite part ...
It's a reality that saw one Jersey City church include in its prayers on Sunday a plea for public officials to serve the needs of the people and not "their own personal agendas." Shame on Mayor Healy for being at the helm of an administration so steeped in corruption that a congregation in 2010 America has no confidence.

Posted on: 2010/2/4 19:54
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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Yes. Jack Shaw used to be on George Filopoulos' (developer of the Beacon) payroll and his girfriend Cathy Chin was as well.

Nowadays when asked about Jack Shaw, Filopoulos says "Who's that? "

Posted on: 2010/2/4 18:01
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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Quote:

T-Bird wrote:
Quote:

GrovePath wrote:
Is that the same Cathy Chin who works for the Beacon Developer as the Beacon manager?
http://www.beaconowners.com/Rialto-Capitol/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=235



Point being?


Yeah - calm down - I really don't know the answer, is it the same person?

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used2bjc wrote:
I don't think it was a snarky question. Just trying to get a little background on the players in the game. You buy a program at the racetrack don't you?

Posted on: 2010/2/4 17:47
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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I don't think it was a snarky question. Just trying to get a little background on the players in the game. You buy a program at the racetrack don't you?

Posted on: 2010/2/4 17:46
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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Quote:

GrovePath wrote:
Is that the same Cathy Chin who works for the Beacon Developer as the Beacon manager?


Point being?

Posted on: 2010/2/4 17:35
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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Is that the same Cathy Chin who works for the Beacon Developer as the Beacon manager?

http://www.beaconowners.com/Rialto-Capitol/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=235

Posted on: 2010/2/4 17:26
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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Shaw girlfriend testifying in Beldini corruption trial that she wrote straw checks for Healy campaign, Dems
By Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal
February 04, 2010, 10:18AM

Political consultant Jack Shaw's girlfriend is testifying in the federal corruption trial against Leona Beldini of Jersey City this morning that she wrote straw checks for Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy's reelection campaign and the Jersey City Democrats.

Following government informant Solomon Dwek on the witness stand, Cathy Chin is telling the jury that Shaw, who was found dead five days after his July 23 arrest in the massive New Jersey corruption sting, gave her money and told her who to write the checks out to.

Known as a straw donation, the practice is a way to illegally skirt state election laws that prohibit an individual from donating more than $2,600 to a political campaign fund.

During his five days on the witness stand, Dwek testified that he gave cash to Shaw with the understanding that Shaw would divvy it up to make it look like legal donations when in fact it was intended as a bribe.

Beldini, who was Healy's reelection campaign treasurer as well as a $66,000-a-year deputy mayor, is accused of getting $20,000 from Dwek and funneling it into illegal donations.

"Could you afford a $2,500 contribution,'' Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Moser asked Chin.

"No."

"Did you have any desire to make a $2,500 contribution?''

"No.''

"Why did you agree to write the check?"

?Because he asked me to," Chin said of Shaw.

The prosecution had no further questions and defense attorney Brian Neary is about to start his cross-examination.

Posted on: 2010/2/4 15:52
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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This is fun - and well done. Discussion of the mayor's current legal pickle filmed at the medical center luncheonette with the same look as the undercover videos.
A chat about Jersey City corruption at the diner where Solomon Dwek conducted the sting operation

Posted on: 2010/2/4 14:16
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Key witness Dwek in Beldini trial says cash bribe not placed in her hands

Thursday, February 04, 2010
By MICHAELANGELO CONTE
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

NEWARK - Government informant Solomon Dwek made it through his third and final day of a painstaking and contentious cross examination in the corruption trial of former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini yesterday.

The one-time rabbinical student who paid a $50 bribe to a math teacher to graduate high school, Dwek, became a government informant in 2006 shortly after he was caught bouncing two $25 million checks.

Beldini is accused of accepting $20,000 in bribes from Dwek - through intermediaries - to fast-track zoning approvals for a project Dwek was supposedly building on Garfield Avenue. The money was ultimately funneled into the re-election campaign of Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, who has not been charged with any crimes.

Brian Neary, Beldini's attorney, devoted his three days of cross-examination to trying to show that it was in the interest of the intermediaries - political consultant Jack Shaw and suspended Hudson County employee Edward Cheatam - to pretend Beldini and Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy were on the take.

Dwek acknowledged that for every corrupt politician they would steer his way, Shaw and Cheatam would receive a corresponding amount in bribes.

Dwek was forced to say he had not given one penny to Beldini.

Neary highlighted video clips in which Beldini seemed to be telling Dwek that the approval process was straightforward and would be no problem.

Healy is seen doing the same in two meetings he attended with Dwek, Beldini, Cheatam and Shaw at the Jersey City Luncheonette.


Political consultant Jack Shaw was found dead of a Valium overdose in his home in Downtown Jersey City five days after his arrest in July. The medical examiner could not determine if it was accidental or suicide.

The next blockbuster witness to testify for the government is expected to be Cheatam, a former Jersey City Board of Education vice president and Hudson County's affirmative action officer. Cheatam has already pleaded guilty.

In one video clip highlighted by Neary, Dwek leads Cheatam and Shaw from the Luncheonette to his car parked at Montgomery Street and Summit Avenue before handing them what he says is $10,000 in cash for Healy and Beldini. They had just left a meeting with Beldini and Healy in the diner.

"With Beldini and Leona right down the street, did you invite them to come to your car?" Neary asked Dwek.

"I did not. I invited the bagmen," Dwek replied.

Posted on: 2010/2/4 10:12
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Leona "Hope Diamond" Beldini Trial:
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Beldini trial starts tomorrow.

Post-trial party at the 'Bada-Bing', Rt. 17.

Posted on: 2010/1/24 18:42
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Catrillo sentenced to 18 months
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Jersey City official is sentenced to prison, first in N.J. corruption sting
By Joe Ryan/The Star-Ledger
January 22, 2010, 12:47PM

JERSEY CITY -- A former candidate for Jersey City council who admitted taking bribes from an FBI informant was ordered today to serve 18 months in prison, marking the first sentencing in last year?s sweeping money-laundering and corruption sting.

Guy Catrillo, 55, an ex-senior city planning aide, pleaded guilty in September to accepting $15,000 in bribes from a government informant who posed as a crooked real estate developer. In exchange, Catrillo promised to help the informant secure building approvals.

Before being sentenced, Catrillo, a former member of Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy?s constituents services bureau, told Federal District Judge Jose L. Linares he was sorry for his crime.

?I apologize to you and everyone else I let down,? said Catrillo, a Republican.

Posted on: 2010/1/22 18:27
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Jury selection begins Monday in Beldini trial.

Former Jersey City deputy mayor to be tried on corruption charges
By Melissa Hayes/The Jersey Journal
January 20, 2010, 5:01PM

U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares dismissed several motions made by Beldini's attorney Brian Neary in an attempt to have the case dismissed.

She is the first defendant charged in the massive July 23 political corruption and international money laundering sting to go to trial.

Neary argued in federal court in Newark today that due process wasn't followed and that the government's evidence does not support the charges against Beldini. He also raised questions over whether all of the evidence was turned over to him.

Linares dismissed most of Neary's motions and held off on ruling on others saying it was premature.

He also ruled that the U.S. Attorney's office could bring up Beldini's past work as treasurer of Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy's campaign fund.

While little was disclosed on the government's allegations, Linares said it pertained to unreported campaign contributions and allegations of straw donors. As treasurer of the campaign, Beldini was responsible for filing reports with the state.

The trial will begin Monday with jury selection which is expected to take about two days. Prospective jurors will have to answer more than 60 questions submitted by both Neary and the U.S. Attorney's office.

Posted on: 2010/1/21 3:30
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Joseph Cardwell is latest Jersey City figure indicted in bribery sting

Thursday, January 14, 2010
By MELISSA HAYES
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

A Jersey City consultant was indicted yesterday on charges he accepted $30,000 in bribes and tried to influence a city official to help a developer.

Joseph Cardwell, 68, is charged with using $10,000 to bribe a Jersey City official to fast-track a project for FBI informant Solomon Dwek, who was posing as a developer.

Cardwell is one of 44 people initially arrested July 23 in a massive political corruption and international money laundering scheme.

"We've been expecting the indictment since he was arrested in July and now we look forward to receiving the evidence that the government is obligated to give us," said Cardwell's attorney, Henry Klingeman.

Klingeman said Cardwell plans to plead not guilty.

No longer consulting, Cardwell is still a Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority commissioner and receives city health benefits.

Jennifer Morrill, a spokeswoman for Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, said the city Law Department sent a letter to Cardwell's attorney July 29 on behalf of the mayor asking him to resign.

On Sept. 15, Cardwell notified the city he would not resign. Morrill said the mayor planned to work with the City Council to begin the process to remove Cardwell, which includes drafting charges and holding a hearing.

The nine-page indictment accuses Cardwell of accepting $10,000 cash payments in July and August 2008 from Dwek in exchange for using his influence to help fast-track proposed high-rise condominiums on Garfield Avenue.

Cardwell allegedly accepted a third $10,000 payment in August 2008 on behalf of a Jersey City official whose help Dwek sought.

Carl Czaplicki, director of the Jersey City Department of Housing, Economic Development and Commerce said in July he is the official. Czaplicki has not been charged.

According to the indictment, Cardwell arranged a meeting between Dwek and "JC Official." The official declined to accept the $10,000 payment from Dwek.

"Rather than accepting cash directly, the JC Official had requested that Cardwell handle the payment by using the money to purchase tickets for fundraising events benefiting another Jersey City Official," the indictment states.

If convicted, Cardwell faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Posted on: 2010/1/14 16:11
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Former Jersey City maintenance worker charged with taking $50K in bribes in massive corruption probe

By Joe Ryan/The Star-Ledger
January 12, 2010, 4:54PM

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John Guarini comes out of the Federal Courthouse in Newark in this July 2009 file photo.

JERSEY CITY -- A former maintenance worker with the Jersey City housing department who was arrested in last summer?s massive FBI sting was formally charged in a federal indictment today with taking $50,000 in bribes from a government informant.

John Guarini, 60, was initially accused in July along with 43 others in the political corruption and money-laundering probe. Today?s indictment returned by a grand jury in Newark accuses him of promising to secure development approvals for a Jersey City condominium project on behalf of the informant, who posed a crooked developer.

"I?ll take care of it. I told you I take care of everything," Guarini allegedly told the informant in March 2008, according to the 11-count indictment. Guarini?s lawyer, W. Scott Murphy, said Guarini would plead not guilty.

Authorities say Guarini, who ran as a Republican for Congress in 2006, conspired with two others: Michael Altman, a 39-year-old developer from Monsey, N.Y., and Maher Khalil, 39, a former Jersey City health official. Khalil has pleaded guilty; the charges against Altman still pending.

The informant, a failed Monmouth County developer named Solomon Dwek, began working with the FBI in 2006 after being charged with bank fraud. He spent years secretly recording conversations with rabbis who supposedly laundered money and public officials who allegedly took bribes.

Posted on: 2010/1/13 19:57
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Re: JOURNAL ENDORSES LOUIS MANZO FOR JERSEY CITY MAYOR
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Does this mean we can pay our taxes in dollar bills?

And from what backroom in City Hall are the lap dances given?

Posted on: 2009/12/23 1:37
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Re: JOURNAL ENDORSES LOUIS MANZO FOR JERSEY CITY MAYOR
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Ralph Cifaretto asks that you do not disrespect "The Bing".

Posted on: 2009/12/23 1:34
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Re: JOURNAL ENDORSES LOUIS MANZO FOR JERSEY CITY MAYOR
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My first reaction to this was thinking she was a dirty Bada Bing kind of pole dancer. After doing some research, she was actually a quite successful, admired burlesque dancer. The kind that have inspired Dita Von Teese and the Pussycat Dolls and the whole neo-burlesque movement that is so popular today.

So I'm retracting my statement about her dignity being lost. Well, wait, she still lost her dignity but that's because she's a dirty, corrupt politician, not because she was a dancer. I sort of love her for that.

Posted on: 2009/12/23 1:27
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Re: JOURNAL ENDORSES LOUIS MANZO FOR JERSEY CITY MAYOR
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HOLY. CRAP.

Posted on: 2009/12/23 1:18
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Re: JOURNAL ENDORSES LOUIS MANZO FOR JERSEY CITY MAYOR
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Quote:

o73o2 wrote:
Quote:

T-Bird wrote:
Anyone see this? Strange twist.

http://www.politickernj.com/wallye/35 ... aking-bribes-was-stripper

Jersey City Deputy Mayor charged with taking bribes was a stripper
By Wally Edge


A website called burlesquebabesshop.com says that former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini, who was arrested in July as part of the U.S. Attorney's Operation Bid Rig, is a former exotic dancer who performed under the name Hope Diamond. Beldini pleaded not guilty earlier this month to three counts of bribery and three counts of extortion after federal prosecutors alleged that she took a $20,000 bribe from a cooperating witness widely believed to be Solomon Dwek.

According to several websites, Hope Diamond was a top tier stripper and burlesque performer in the 1950's and early 1960's. The 74-year-old Beldini was named to her city post by Mayor Jerramiah Healy, who suspended her after she was arrested.

Wally Edge can be reached via email at politicsnj@aol.com.
i want to see pictures before i believe this .. of course, this moves her in pole position among all those indicted


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Posted on: 2009/12/22 23:26
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Re: JOURNAL ENDORSES LOUIS MANZO FOR JERSEY CITY MAYOR
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Quote:

T-Bird wrote:
Anyone see this? Strange twist.

http://www.politickernj.com/wallye/35 ... aking-bribes-was-stripper

Jersey City Deputy Mayor charged with taking bribes was a stripper
By Wally Edge


A website called burlesquebabesshop.com says that former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini, who was arrested in July as part of the U.S. Attorney's Operation Bid Rig, is a former exotic dancer who performed under the name Hope Diamond. Beldini pleaded not guilty earlier this month to three counts of bribery and three counts of extortion after federal prosecutors alleged that she took a $20,000 bribe from a cooperating witness widely believed to be Solomon Dwek.

According to several websites, Hope Diamond was a top tier stripper and burlesque performer in the 1950's and early 1960's. The 74-year-old Beldini was named to her city post by Mayor Jerramiah Healy, who suspended her after she was arrested.

Wally Edge can be reached via email at politicsnj@aol.com.
i want to see pictures before i believe this .. of course, this moves her in pole position among all those indicted

Posted on: 2009/12/22 22:24
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Re: JOURNAL ENDORSES LOUIS MANZO FOR JERSEY CITY MAYOR
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I guess she really knew how to shake her money maker.

Quote:

T-Bird wrote:
Anyone see this? Strange twist.

http://www.politickernj.com/wallye/35 ... aking-bribes-was-stripper

Jersey City Deputy Mayor charged with taking bribes was a stripper
By Wally Edge


A website called burlesquebabesshop.com says that former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini, who was arrested in July as part of the U.S. Attorney's Operation Bid Rig, is a former exotic dancer who performed under the name Hope Diamond. Beldini pleaded not guilty earlier this month to three counts of bribery and three counts of extortion after federal prosecutors alleged that she took a $20,000 bribe from a cooperating witness widely believed to be Solomon Dwek.

According to several websites, Hope Diamond was a top tier stripper and burlesque performer in the 1950's and early 1960's. The 74-year-old Beldini was named to her city post by Mayor Jerramiah Healy, who suspended her after she was arrested.

Wally Edge can be reached via email at politicsnj@aol.com.

Posted on: 2009/12/22 21:29
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Re: JOURNAL ENDORSES LOUIS MANZO FOR JERSEY CITY MAYOR
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O
M
G

There goes the last of her dignity (even if I think the stripper allegation sounds a wee bit sketch...despite the fabulous stripper name).

Posted on: 2009/12/22 21:28
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Re: JOURNAL ENDORSES LOUIS MANZO FOR JERSEY CITY MAYOR
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Anyone see this? Strange twist.

http://www.politickernj.com/wallye/35 ... aking-bribes-was-stripper

Jersey City Deputy Mayor charged with taking bribes was a stripper
By Wally Edge


A website called burlesquebabesshop.com says that former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini, who was arrested in July as part of the U.S. Attorney's Operation Bid Rig, is a former exotic dancer who performed under the name Hope Diamond. Beldini pleaded not guilty earlier this month to three counts of bribery and three counts of extortion after federal prosecutors alleged that she took a $20,000 bribe from a cooperating witness widely believed to be Solomon Dwek.

According to several websites, Hope Diamond was a top tier stripper and burlesque performer in the 1950's and early 1960's. The 74-year-old Beldini was named to her city post by Mayor Jerramiah Healy, who suspended her after she was arrested.

Wally Edge can be reached via email at politicsnj@aol.com.

Posted on: 2009/12/22 21:23
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Re: JOURNAL ENDORSES LOUIS MANZO FOR JERSEY CITY MAYOR
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Lori Serrano, former Jersey City council candidate, indicted on corruption charges

By Ron Zeitlinger/The Jersey Journal
December 10, 2009, 3:27PM

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Lori Serrano, 40, was indicted today on corruption charges.

NEWARK ? Lori Serrano, who ran unsuccessfully for City Council in Jersey City, today was indicted and charged with accepting $10,000 in corrupt cash payments from an informant posing as a developer.

Serrano, the one-time chairwoman of the Jersey City Housing Authority, was one of the 44 people arrested in the federal sting dubbed Operation Bid Rig in July.

Serrano is accused of accepting cash payments from Solomon Dwek in exchange for her anticipated official assistance on development matters once she became a council member, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said today. Dwek began cooperating with federal authorities after he was charged in a real estate scheme to defraud banks in 2006.

Serrano is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of
official right, which carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000
fine. The government is also seeking the return of the $10,000 Serrano allegedly took in corrupt payments.

The indictment charges Serrano with conspiring with then-Jersey City official Edward Cheatam, consultant Jack Shaw, who died a week after his arrest in July, and others to extort cash payments with the promise that Serrano would help Dwek with approvals on a Garfield Avenue project.

Fishman said the corruption and money laundering investigations are continuing.

Serrano will have to appear for arraignment on the indictment on a date to be determined.

"We certainly still feel that there are a number of legal issues that will hopefully bear out in favor of our client with respect to the allegations against her," Serrano's Newark-based attorney Terry Ridley said this afternoon.

"Our client didn't do anything illegal in law or in fact and a lot of the government's case is going to be predicated on Edward Cheatam and Dwek. They are the main instigators..My client was just a pawn in all of this," he added.

"We attemtped to work out something (with the U.S. Attorney's Office) and nothing could be worked out. We thought we could have possibly worked out a situation where our client would not face any jail time and be placed in a divisionary program, but the government is looking to incarcerate," Ridley said. .

Cheatam has already pleaded guilty to his respective role in taking bribes from Dwek for himself and for facilitating bribes and illicit campaign contributions to public officials and political figures.

According to the indictment, Serrano, Cheatam and Shaw met with Dwek on March 24. Other meetings followed where corrupt cash payments were planned and transacted, according to the indictment.

The payments were: $5,000 in cash given to Serrano in the parking lot of a diner in Bayonne on March 30; and another $5,000 in cash given to Serrano while she was sitting in Dwek's car in the parking lot of a diner in Bayonne on April 23.

According to the indictment, Dwek stated: ?So, what I?ll do is ... give you to start $5,000. And then hopefully we?ll do more as the campaign progresses. As long as I know I got your ... vote on council."

In response, Serrano stated: ?You will,? the indictment says. Serrano also assured Dwek that "I?m a very loyal person.?

Serrano promised to accept the payment in cash to conceal it and she did not report the payments on her election campaign financial reports.

Eight officials connected to Hudson County have pleaded guilty to the Operation Bid Rig charges: former Jersey City Housing Authority Commissioner Cheatam, former Hudson County Superintendent of Elections Investigator Denis Jaslow, former Jersey City Parking Authority Director Jimmy King, former City Councilman Philip Kenny, council candidates LaVern Webb-Washington and Michael Manzo, and former Jersey City municipal employees Guy Catrillo and Maher Khalil.

Posted on: 2009/12/11 16:07
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Posted on: 2009/12/6 5:56
My humor is for the silent blue collar majority - If my posts offend, slander or you deem inappropriate and seek deletion, contact the webmaster for jurisdiction.
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