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Re: Another guilty plea: Kin see ex-candidate, Michael Manzo, plead guilty to taking $5G from informant
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Pension for Manzo put on hold pending outcome of corruption charges

Monday, March 01, 2010
By MELISSA HAYES
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

Retired Jersey City Firefighter Michael Manzo, who pleaded guilty in the massive New Jersey corruption case, filed to start collecting his pension in December.

But his application has been put on hold pending the outcome of the criminal charges, according to the state Department of Treasury.

Manzo worked as a Jersey City firefighter for 27 years and five months, according to Treasury spokeswoman Brenda Cook.

He was paid $56,614 in 2009 and $95,380 in 2008. Pensions are based on a percentage of an employee's top three earning years.

Once Manzo is sentenced, the state pension board can request all of the documentation pertaining to the charges against him and decide whether or not to grant him his pension, or revoke a portion of it or all of it.

Manzo pleaded guilty in December to accepting $5,000 in bribes from a federal informant posing as a developer. Manzo ran unsuccessfully for City Council last year and accepted the bribes in that capacity.

He was among the dozens of people arrested in the massive political corruption and money laundering sting in July.

Manzo agreed to return the $5,000 to the government and faces 10 to 16 months in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Jose Linares is expected to sentence him March 15.

Posted on: 2010/3/1 13:26
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Re: Another guilty plea: Kin see ex-candidate, Michael Manzo, plead guilty to taking $5G from informant
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Quote:

ErinMaiden wrote:
"He's decent, a very good guy who made a mistake,"

sounds like what you hear from the family after some thug gets busted. everyone is such a great guy...until they get caught.


Ditto, Everyone is a great person and family member after they caught, lets not forget the facts in this case.

Food for thought, Just think how much they actually got away with before all of this went down???

This guy should get the max considering he was in a position of Law enforcement.

Food for thought!!!

LET EM ROT!!!

Posted on: 2009/12/3 23:26
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Re: Another guilty plea: Kin see ex-candidate, Michael Manzo, plead guilty to taking $5G from informant
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"He's decent, a very good guy who made a mistake,"

sounds like what you hear from the family after some thug gets busted. everyone is such a great guy...until they get caught.

Posted on: 2009/12/3 22:06
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Re: Another guilty plea: Kin see ex-candidate, Michael Manzo, plead guilty to taking $5G from informant
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And they all fall down!!!

Posted on: 2009/12/3 21:33
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Another guilty plea: Kin see ex-candidate, Michael Manzo, plead guilty to taking $5G from informant
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Kin see ex-candidate plead guilty to taking $5G from informant

Thursday, December 03, 2009
By MELISSA HAYES
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

NEWARK - Michael Manzo, who ran for Jersey City City Council in May, pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges yesterday - the eighth person to do so as part of a massive sting operation that culminated with the arrests of 44 people in July.

Manzo, a retired Jersey City arson investigator, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit extortion under the color of official right before U.S. District Judge Jose Linares yesterday afternoon.

His parents, wife, brother, sister-in-law and other relatives sat quietly in court as Manzo said, "I plead guilty your honor."

During questioning by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Moser, Manzo admitted he accepted $5,000 from Solomon Dwek, a federal informant posing as a developer, in exchange for helping Dwek advance a project on Garfield Avenue.

Manzo was recorded on tape saying he would call the Building Department to make sure Dwek's application wasn't lost.

He agreed to return the $5,000 to the United States government and faces 10 to 16 months in federal prison. He was released on bail until his sentencing March 15.

One of the conditions of the plea agreement is that Manzo will cooperate in other related cases.

The plea agreement states that Manzo collaborated with Denis Jaslow, a former investigator with the Hudson County Superintendent of Elections, and Joseph Castagna, the suspended Jersey City health officer, to accept cash payments in exchange for future influence over Jersey City government matters.

Jaslow has already pleaded guilty to taking $15,500 from Dwek and introducing the informant to public officials and candidates.

Castagna is accused of accepting the $5,000 from Dwek and giving it to Manzo.

After court, Manzo's attorney Frank Arlea described Manzo as a man who dedicated more than 30 years to the Fire Department before retiring. He said Manzo was not a career politician. His May bid for a Ward B council seat as an independent was the first time he ran for office.

"He's decent, a very good guy who made a mistake," Arlea said. "This was one meeting, one transgression."

=================

Another guilty plea in sting

Thursday, December 03, 2009
joe ryan and ted sherman
STAR-LEDGER STAFF

A former candidate for the Jersey City Council admitted in court yesterday that he took a $5,000 bribe from an undercover federal informant, becoming the eighth person to plead guilty in connection to a sting that ensnared scores of religious leaders, public officials and aspiring politicians.

Michael J. Manzo told a federal judge in Newark that he took the cash in exchange for promising that, if elected, he would help the informant secure approvals for a luxury condominium building. The 53-year-old former Jersey City arson investigator stood firmly with his hands clasped as his parents, wife and brother watched from the back of the courtroom.

"How do you wish to plead?" U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares asked.

"I plead guilty, your honor," Manzo said.

Manzo, who ran as an independent, faces between 10 months and 16 months in prison under the terms of his plea deal, said Sandra L. Moser, an assistant U.S. attorney. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 15.

Manzo was among 44 people charged this summer after being caught on surveillance cameras and wire taps by the informant, the failed Monmouth County developer Solomon Dwek. After being arrested for bank fraud in 2006, Dwek spent more than two years secretly working for federal prosecutors, targeting rabbis who supposedly laundered money and public officials who allegedly took bribes. They include two state assemblymen and mayors from Hoboken, Secaucus and Ridgefield.

Dwek spent much of his time in Hudson County, particularly Jersey City, where more than a dozen of the defendants either worked at City Hall or had ties to May's city elections. Among them is Leona Beldini, a Jersey City deputy mayor who served as campaign treasurer for Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy.

Beldini, a Democrat who is scheduled to be the first defendant to stand trial, also appeared yesterday before Linares to answer to new charges contained in an indictment unsealed last month. She is accused of promising to help Dwek, who posed as a crooked real estate developer, secure building approvals in exchange for $20,000 in illicit campaign contributions to Healy, who has not been charged.

The 74-year-old real estate agent took off her dark glasses as she stood in court, but said nothing. Her lawyer, Brian J. Neary, entered a not-guilty plea on her behalf. Linares scheduled her trial for Jan. 27.

Afterward, Neary said the new indictment added nothing to the case. "It just reshuffled the same deck of charges," he said. "The same witnesses. The same evidence. The same Solomon Dwek."

Beldini smiled briefly as she left the courtroom, shaking hands with Manzo.

"Good luck," they said to each other.

Joe Ryan may be reached at (973) 622-3405 or jryan@starledger.com.

Posted on: 2009/12/3 17:25
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