U.S. Attorney District of New Jersey

Contact Information

Key Personnel Report

     Current as of: 20 January 2010

District: NEW JERSEY

Phone Numbers
Main Office:  (973) 645-2700
Fax:  (973) 645-2702
Mailing:   Peter Rodino Federal Building
970 Broad Street Suite 700 
Newark, NJ 07102
Shipping:   970 Broad Street
Suite 700 Peter Rodino Fed Bldg 
Newark, NJ 07102

* Represents Presidentially Appointed United States Attorney
Official Position/Title Name
*USA *Paul Fishman
Secretary to USA Nancy Manteiga
Executive AUSA Marc Larkins
Deputy U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick
Criminal Chief Charles McKenna
Civil Chief Susan J. Steele
ATAC Coordinator Michael A. Hammer
Confidential Human Source Coordinator Michael A. Hammer
District Office Security Manager Charles McKenna
Chief, Appellate George Leone
Chief, Asset Forfeiture Peter W. Gaeta
Chief, FLU Susan J. Steele
Crisis Management Coordinator Charles McKenna
Records Coordinator Maryann Zekunde
Branch AUSA in Charge-Camden James P. Lynch
Branch AUSA in Charge-Trenton Thomas J. Eicher
Admin Officer Rosemary Iannacone
Systems Manager Vincent H. Luu
VW Coordinator Shirley Estreicher
Public Affairs Officer Michael Drewniak
Branch: Trenton
Site Phone Number
Main Office:  (609) 989-2190
Fax:  (609) 989-2275
Site Address
Mailing:   402 East State Street
Room 430
Trenton, NJ 08608
Shipping:   402 East State Street
Room 430
Trenton, NJ 08608

Branch: Camden
Site Phone Number
Main Office:  (856) 757-5026
Fax:  (856) 968-4917
Site Address
Mailing:   Camden Fed Bldg & U.S. Courthouse
401 Market Street 4th Floor
Camden, NJ 08101
Shipping:   401 Market Street
4th Floor Camden Fed Bldg
Camden, NJ 08101

Contractor Charged with Agreeing to Bribe Union City Official for Constuction Approvals

A Union City, New Jersey contractor appeared in court today to face a federal charge that he agreed to give bribes and corrupt payments in connection with a Union City Zoning Board matter, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Bryant Venegas, 26, of Clifton, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of knowingly and corruptly agreeing to give a bribe. Venegas surrendered this morning to the FBI and appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court. He was released on a $50,000 bond.

Hoboken resident one of Fourteen new jersey health care providers arrested, charged with taking cash payments for patient referrals

A Hoboken resident is one of Thirteen New Jersey doctors and a nurse practitioner charged in a cash-for tests referral scheme for allegedly taking illegal kickback payments to refer patients to an Orange, N.J., medical testing facility, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Special Agent in Charge Tom O’Donnell announced.

This morning, more than 65 federal and local agents and officers led by HHS-OIG arrested the 14 health care practitioners, to whom radiology and diagnostic facility Orange Community MRI (“OCM”) allegedly paid monthly cash kickback payments in exchange for their referral of Medicare and Medicaid patients to OCM for testing services.

The defendants arrested this morning are scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court. OCM’s executive director, Chirag Patel, 36, of Warren, N.J., was arrested on Dec. 8, 2011, in connection with the scheme. He appeared that day before Judge Arleo and was released on a $750,000 bond.

Hoboken Hospital Bankruptcy Lawyers awarded $1,083,941.77 for August through October “first interim allowances”

On December 7, 2011, the United States Bankruptcy Court District of New Jersey signed an order granting the first interim allowance to the law firm representing HUDSON HEALTHCARE, INC. “HHI”, the bankrupt non-profit private corporation “manager” of Hoboken University Medical Center. 

HHI’s bankruptcy counsel TRENK, DiPASQUALE, WEBSTER, DELLA FERA & SODONO, P.C. was awarded $1,083,941.77 representing fees and expenses for the “First Interim Fee Application for the Period August 1, 2011 through October 31, 2011.”

During the bankruptcy process, newspapers and political blogs have reported allegations of bankruptcy fraud with respect to HHI and the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority. 

U.S. Attorney, District of New Jersey on behalf of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority that they are not in bankruptcy and therefore not the Debtor

The U.S. Attorney, District of New Jersey on behalf of the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“the Secretary”) submitted a Federal Bankruptcy filing to apprise the Purchaser and other interested parties of the consequences surrounding the Purchaser’s acceptance of the Provider Agreement or,alternatively, the Purchaser’s rejection of any such assignment and the Secretary’s opposition to anyattempt to transfer the Hospital’s Medicare Provider Agreement without successor liability.

"Moreover, because the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority (and therefore, not the Debtor) is the holder of the Medicare Provider Agreement and is not in bankruptcy, any transaction regarding the transfer of its Provider Agreement with the Secretary must take place outside the scope of this court’s jurisdiction."

In related events, more than one creditor listed by Hoboken Healthcare, Inc. Debtor have filed OBJECTION TO THE DEBTOR’S MOTION FOR ENTRY OF AN ORDER APPROVING SETTLEMENT AND COMPROMISE claiming they have a valid, binding claim directly against the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority, a non-debtor, based upon a contract with the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority. 


Attorney: Cammarano lost everything, had rough childhood, Ex-mayor sentenced to two years in prison in corruption bust

Former Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, 33, was a rising star in the Democratic Party 14 months ago – but thanks to an FBI corruption sting last July, “He has been absolutely unemployed … [he’s] lost his marriage and been separated from his child,” said defense attorney Joseph Hayden on Thursday.

Hayden and Cammarano appeared in U.S. District Court in Newark to find out the ex-mayor’s sentence, four months after Cammarano pleaded guilty to accepting $25,000 in illegal campaign contributions from an FBI informant who posed as a real estate developer.

Ex-Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano III Pleads Guilty to Corruption

He was not the one accused of human organ trafficking, nor the money-laundering rabbi. No, in the sprawling corruption sting that shook New Jersey last year, what marked Peter J. Cammarano III, then the mayor of Hoboken, was the spectacle of a promising career blown apart almost before it started.

His downfall became complete on Tuesday, in Federal District Court in Newark, where Mr. Cammarano, 32, pleaded guilty to accepting illegal campaign contributions in return for aiding proposed development projects. The youngest mayor in the city’s history, he served 23 days in that office last year before being arrested and charged, and eight more before resigning. He now faces a probable sentence of 24 to 30 months in prison.

Former Hoboken Mayor Admits Extorting Cash Contributions in Return for Official Influence

NEWARK, N.J. – Peter J. Cammarano III, former Mayor of the City of Hoboken, pleaded guilty today and admitted accepting $25,000 in illicit cash contributions in exchange for exercising his future official influence and authority, United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Cammarano, 32, of Hoboken, appeared before United States District Judge Jose L. Linares and pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal Information charging him with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right. Judge Linares continued Cammarano’s release on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled for August 3, 2010.  At his plea hearing, Cammarano admitted that, while he was an at-large Councilman for the City of Hoboken and candidate for the position of Mayor, he accepted three illicit cash campaign contributions totaling $15,000 from a cooperating witness (“CW”), who purported to be a real estate developer. Cammarano further admitted that on July 16, 2009, after he had been elected and sworn in as Mayor, he accepted an additional $10,000 illicit cash campaign contribution from the CW.

Hoboken's ex-mayor pleads guilty in corruption case

Former Hoboken Mayor Peter J. Cammarano III, an attorney and one-time
rising political star, pleaded guilty Tuesday to accepting $25,000 in illicit campaign contributions in the state’s largest corruption sting.

Dressed in a black suit, Cammarano pleaded guilty to one count of extortion conspiracy, admitting he accepted bribes from an informant posing as a real estate developer seeking favors.

By his plea, Cammarano became the highest-ranking official of the 17 who have pleaded guilty or been convicted since federal authorities rounded up more than 40 people last July in an investigation into money laundering and political influence peddling.

Federal jury convicts Beldini on 2 bribery counts; she'll lose deputy mayor job, faces years in prison

A federal jury yesterday convicted suspended Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini of taking $20,000 in bribes that prosecutors say she funneled into Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy's re-election campaign last year.

The 74-year-old Realtor and former burlesque queen showed no reaction as the jury foreman read the verdict convicting her on two of the six counts, but her daughter Bianca slumped in her seat in the packed courtroom yesterday afternoon.

Beldini is the first person to be convicted as a result of work done by FBI informant Solomon Dwek, who surreptitiously made audio and video recordings that resulted in 46 arrests last July, following a months-long probe into money laundering and corruption in New York and New Jersey.

Lets goto the tapes! FBI releases video tapes at Beldini trail

As the Federal corruption trail of Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini progressed, the FBI released several undercover video tapes made by government informant SOLOMON DEWK.

"Caught on tape" were Leona Beldini, Edward Cheatam, Jack Shaw, and Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy.

Beldini is accused of accepting $20,000 from Dwek in the form of illegal campaign contributions to Healy. Beldini faces up to 20 years in prison.

Real Estate Developer Admits Laundering Money for the Purpose of Making Political Contributions to a Union City Official - Mayor Brian Stack

NEWARK – Real estate developer Shimon Haber pleaded guilty today to conspiring to launder money, admitting he agreed with a cooperating witness and others to launder money for the purpose of making contributions to the political committee of a Union City official in exchange for official approvals to develop certain property in Union City, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

NOTE: The Star Ledger reported "Court filings and campaign finance reports show the money went to an election campaign associated with Mayor Brian Stack. The mayor has not been charged with any wrongdoing and has declined repeated requests to discuss the matter."

Haber, 34, of Brooklyn, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares to a one-count criminal Information charging him with conspiracy to launder money to conceal and promote unlawful activity. Judge Linares continued Haber’s release on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled for April 28, 2010 at 11:00a.m.

Union City developer admits money laundering role in N.J. corruption probe

A Union City developer and former partner of FBI informant and admitted scam artist Solomon Dwek admitted today to conspiring to launder money as part of the federal sting operation that led to the arrests of several mayors, rabbis and other officials last July.

Shimon Haber, 34, of Brooklyn, also acknowledged a role in attempting to funnel money into the campaign account of an unnamed Union City elected official as part of an effort to gain approvals on a major real estate project he and Dwek had been pursuing on Palisades Avenue in Union City.

Court filings and campaign finance reports show the money went to an election campaign associated with Mayor Brian Stack. The mayor has not been charged with any wrongdoing and has declined repeated requests to discuss the matter.

N.J. corruption case witness joins rogue's gallery

One man ran a Mafia-controlled brokerage that fleeced investors out of millions. Another was an admitted drug user who once ordered a murder. Yet another operated a Ponzi scheme right under the nose of his employer — the U.S. government.

To that rogue's gallery of federal snitches add the name of Solomon Dwek, the failed New Jersey real estate tycoon at the center of the biggest corruption sting in the state's history.

When Dwek takes the witness stand, possibly as early as next month, the success of the government's cases against potentially dozens of defendants will hinge on whether prosecutors can persuade a jury to believe a man who recently pleaded guilty to a $23 million bank fraud.

Ex-Bergen County Democratic chair convicted in corruption trial

NEWARK -- The former chairman of one of New Jersey's most powerful Democratic party machines was convicted today in a federal corruption trial that focused on his role in a consulting business that solicited contracts in towns where he had political influence.

Joseph Ferriero was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud the northern New Jersey town of Bergenfield and two counts of mail fraud. He was acquitted on five other mail fraud counts.

Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano resigns

Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano released the following letter to the people of Hoboken;

I hereby resign my position as Mayor of the City of Hoboken, effective 12:00 noon on this date.  It has been my has been my hope and expectation that I could remain in office and perform my official duties until I had the opportunity to resolve the legal charges against me in court. Regrettably, it has turned out that the controversy surrounding the charges against me has become a distraction to me and an impediment to the functioning of Hoboken government. This controversy has also been a terrible burden on my family. Accordingly it is in the best interest of the City and all concerned for me to resign.

I apologize to the residents of Hoboken for the disruption and disappointment this has caused. However I would like to reiterate that I am innocent of any criminal charges and I intend to fight the allegations against me.

Yours very truly,

Peter J. Cammarano III

Cammarano, Cardwell & Suarez get the top lawyers

Two of the top criminal defense lawyers in the state picked up premier clients on Thursday:

Joseph Hayden is representing Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano:

Henry Klingeman, Gerald Krovatin's law partner, added Jersey City political leader Joseph Cardwell and Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez as clients

Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell has retained William Northgrave, who was Hudson County Executive Robert Jansizewski's Chief of Staff


Public Corruption Arrests - July 23, 2009

Here’s the full list of people charged in the public corruption portion of the federal investigation that culminated in the arrest of many political heavies today.

Those charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right and/or attempted extortion under color of official right could, if convicted, face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a maximum statutory fine of $250,000.

Those charged with agreeing to offer a bribe payment to a public official, could, if convicted, face a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum statutory fine of $250,000.

In corruption busts, feds need lots of bait to catch big fish

When it comes to big corruption busts -- like Thursday's arrest of 44 politicians, public employees and religious leaders -- the laws of nature are reversed.

The little fish will eat the big fish.

Or, at least, they'll try.

If it helps them get off the hook.

"I am sure some of these defendants will be clamoring to testify against others,'' says Alan Zegas of Chatham, one of the state's most prominent criminal defense attorneys who -- so far -- is not involved in the massive sting operation announced by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

"It's been true since time began -- or at least since John J. Kenny turned on John V. Kenny in the 1970s," says Larry Horn, a former assistant U.S. attorney who now is chief defense attorney for the financial section of the big Newark law firm, Sills Cummis.

Horn is referring to the good old days of political corruption trials when the feds would take down entire county and municipal governments, starting at the bottom with the little fish and flipping them -- or getting them to agree to testify against the bigger bottom feeders.

Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano plans to plead innocent of charge

Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano plans to plead innocent of charges

Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano walks out of the Federal Courthouse in Newark. Cammarano, 32, a Democrat, is charged along with associate Michael Schaffer, a commissioner on the North Hudson Utilities Authority, with taking three payments of $5,000 each to push through building plans for a high-rise development in Hoboken that was being proposed by a man who turned out to be a cooperating witness for the government.

July 23, 2009, New Jersey Public Corruption Arrests

07-23-09 -- NEWARK -- The mayors of Hoboken Secaucus and Ridgefield, the Jersey City deputy mayor and council president, two state assemblymen, numerous other public officials and political figures and five rabbis from New York and New Jersey were among 44 individuals charged today in a two-track federal investigation of public corruption and a high-volume, international money laundering conspiracy.

Department of Justice Official Press Release, July 23, 2009 detailing public corruption, money laundering and brokering the sale of human organs.

NEWARK, N.J. - The mayors of Hoboken, Secaucus and Ridgefield, the Jersey City deputy mayor and council president, two state assemblymen, numerous other public officials and political figures and five rabbis from New York and New Jersey were among 44 individuals charged today in a two-track federal investigation of public corruption and a high-volume, international money laundering conspiracy, Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra, Jr., announced.

Among those charged in criminal Complaints are:

Bergen County Democratic Organization Chairman Joseph Ferriero indicted

Federal authorities indicted Bergen County Democratic Organization Chairman Joseph Ferriero and the party’s chief counsel, Dennis Oury, today.

A federal grand jury returned an eight-count indictment accusing Ferriero and Oury, who was fired as the Bergenfield borough attorney in January, of conspiracy to commit fraud against the borough and mail fraud.

“I am done being surprised in this job,” U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie said. “We’ve had these conversations before about others we’ve prosecuted ... for some reason, greed and power seem to corrupt them and overcome what otherwise might be good sense and good decision-making.”

The indictment charges that in December 2001, Ferriero and Oury conceived of a plan to form a company called Government Grants Consulting LLC that would be paid by Bergen County towns to assist them in obtaining state and local grant monies. According to the indictment, Ferriero indicated that Government Grants would be successful because he could use his “influence” to help the municipalities “get a better result.”

Who is funding Ferriero

Bergen County Democratic Cheif Jospeh Ferriero

Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero has collected more than $195,000 in a private fund from donors — including county contractors and public employees — interested in securing his position as the leader of the county party.

Ferriero has maintained and controlled a fund called “Ferriero for County Chairman” since 2004, according to four years of disclosure forms he filed with the Internal Revenue Service last month.

The fund — which is not subject to state campaign disclosure laws because Ferriero is not a publicly elected official — collected tens of thousands in unlimited donations from some of the county’s and state’s biggest professional contractors. They include partners in the Teaneck law firm of DeCotiis Fitzpatrick Cole & Wisler, PMK Group and Neglia Engineering.

Feds launch probe of Carla Katz

Union leader Carla Katz

Federal authorities have opened an investigation of Carla Katz, the ousted leader of New Jersey's largest state worker union and former girlfriend of Gov. Jon Corzine.

The inquiry into her union activities came into public view Tuesday afternoon when federal agents served a subpoena on the national headquarters of the Communications Workers of America in Washington, D.C., according to three people familiar with the subpoena.

Investigators are seeking records connected to Katz's management of Local 1034, the largest state-worker union, said the sources, who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the probe. Authorities are focusing on an internal CWA probe that recently accused Katz of misappropriating union money, the sources said.

Feds step up inquiry of Bergen Democrat. Christie seeks all files on lawyer and agency

United States Attorney Christopher J. Christie

Federal investigators have intensified their investigation of powerful Democratic powerbroker Joseph Ferriero, issuing subpoenas for all documents related to his work for a public authority long criticized for political patronage.

The law firm of Ferriero, who serves as Bergen County Democratic chairman, has earned millions of dollars from the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission since he became its chief counsel in 2002.

Earlier this month, investigators from U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie's office delivered two subpoenas to the commission, which operates one of the country's largest sewage treatment plants. One sought billing records and all other documents pertaining to Scarinci Hollenbeck, the prominent Bergen County law firm in which Ferriero is a partner.

The other demanded all records related to Ferriero and two other entities: a consulting firm he established in 2001 called SVC Consulting LLC, and Vision Media Marketing, a Secaucus-based public relations firm that has a contract with the commission.

Is Union City Mayor Brian Stack the Target of a Federal Criminal Probe????

Is Union City Mayor Brian Stack the Target of a Federal Criminal Probe????

Thursday, October 4, 2007

This just in......

Is Union City Mayor Brian Stack the Target of a Federal Criminal Probe????

Unconfirmed reports indicate that Union City Mayor Brian Stack received a letter from US Attorney General Christopher J. Christie advising that the Mayor was a TARGET of a criminal investigtation.....

Repeat, this is an unconfirmed report from a past reliable source.

More to follow....

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Acording to those who attended this past Thursday nights HCDO fundraiser.....  Stack , the "TARGET LETTER" and Stack's replacement were the hot topic of the night.

Unrelated sources are now saying that Stack received the "TARGET LETTER"......

Is it rumor? Is it wishful thinking by Stack's political enemies? 


 What is a Target Letter and what does it mean????

Corruption on the run in N.J.

The crimes have been outrageous -- like the Port Authority commissioner who admitted trying to silence a witness by setting him up with a prostitute and secretly taping their tryst. Or the judge who traveled to Russia to film himself having sex with a teenage boy.

They've also been mundane, like the MVC workers who ran their own driver's license mill.

But the list of government officials and employees arrested by federal agents in New Jersey the past several years shows a spectrum of public servants -- from state senators to building inspectors -- who authorities said were eager to sell their offices for cash.

For U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie, it's a never-ending well.

"Our approach is that there really is no act of corruption too small," said Christie, in an interview with The Record.

Hudson lawmaker under new scrutiny. State looking at funding for child care facility with tie to Stack

A top Hudson County legislator, already the focus of an ongoing federal corruption probe, has come into the cross hairs of a separate state criminal investigation involving a publicly subsidized day care program operated by his wife.

The Attorney General's office subpoenaed records in connection with $200,000 in state funding earmarked by the Legislature for the child care facility in Union City, where Assemblyman Brian Stack (D-Hudson) also serves as mayor.

U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie also is examining those grants as part of his own investigation of nearly $1 billion in so-called "Christmas tree" items approved by the Legislature during the past three years.

Expanding probe hits office of governor. Budget records sought from 3 administrations

The federal investigation of the state's secretive budget process reached into the governor's office yesterday, as prosecutors subpoenaed three years of records involving nearly $1 billion in special interest grants.

The subpoenas, covering the administrations of three governors, sought budget records, computer files, reports and letters to determine what the state's top elected officials knew about the so-called "Christmas tree" awards.

The expanding inquiry, which had been focused on one influential senator who headed the powerful appropriations committee, is now looking at other lawmakers as well, including a Hudson County assemblyman whose estranged wife received a $100,000 state grant for a day care center she operates, according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation.

See how they squint outside the back room

Let us pause to rejoice. Because Democrats in the Legislature are finally right where they belong -- standing against a wall with their feet spread while the FBI searches their pockets. They are in trouble now. And they deserve it.

The problem is that they got greedy. Every year at budget time, legislative leaders meet behind closed doors to divvy up millions of dollars for their pet projects.

Federal probe floods Statehouse with subpoenas. Democratic, Republican leaders served as inquiry into Trenton budget process grows

New Jersey legislative officials were hit with a volley of federal subpoenas yesterday, in a rapidly expanding corruption investigation into the Statehouse by U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie.

The subpoenas were served on both the Democratic and Republican leadership in the Senate and the Assembly -- seeking information on how millions in public funds were handed out over the last three years.

It was the latest development in a federal probe that began last April with an investigation into state Sen. Wayne Bryant (D-Camden), who was accused by a federal monitor of using his position to steer funding to the state's medical university after he received a "no-work" job there. The matter has now expanded into an inquiry into how lawmakers divvy up public funds.

Lawyers mum after subpoena hearing

TRENTON — Lawyers for the U.S. Attorney's Office and [NJ] state Office of Legislative Services said nothing publicly Wednesday after a closed-door, 80-minute hearing before a federal judge about a subpoena that the OLS is reportedly blocking.

The two sides met before U.S. District Judge Mary Cooper concerning a subpoena related to a grand jury investigation of whether lawmakers used their positions to illegally steer state grants to entities for personal or political profit. The probe began as an examination of state Sen. Wayne Bryant, D-Camden, but could include others.

Three groups of lawyers representing different interests left the room seemingly bound by court order to keep the grand-jury proceeding sealed.

Subpoena fighters go to court as Corzine repeats call for records

Federal prosecutors and attorneys for the state Legislature are due to square off today in an increasingly political fight over the confidentiality of legislative records being sought in a criminal corruption probe.

The closed-door hearing in U.S. District Court in Trenton comes after Gov. Jon Corzine reiterated his call yesterday for the release of documents being sought by U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie in an expanding investigation into lawmakers' possible conflicts of interest.

"I think we ought to comply with the law and respond to the subpoena," Corzine said. "We ought to be taking those steps that give the public the assurance that we're getting our house in order with regard to ethics."

Pressure builds in probe of Legislature Corzine and GOPers call for honoring subpoena

Gov. Jon Corzine and ranking Republican legislators called yesterday for the immediate release of all records demanded by the U.S. attorney in a widening corruption probe of the New Jersey Legislature.

As Corzine added to the pressure on his own party's lawmakers, Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Morris) called for an emergency public meeting of the Legislative Services Commission to investigate why top legislative officials have refused to comply with a grand jury subpoena obtained by U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie.

U.S. Attorney, Legislature in high-stakes tiff. Inquiry into possible conflicts sparks behind-the-scenes legal fight

U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie and state lawmakers are locked in a secret legal battle over his attempts to launch a wide-ranging investigation of the New Jersey Legislature.

The unusual showdown stems from a broad federal subpoena seeking internal memos, e-mails and other records that the Legislature generates each year when putting together the annual budget.

The documents are at the heart of an inquiry by Christie that is focused on potential legislative conflicts, and specifically whether some elected officials steered money to nonprofit organizations or institutions that would have benefited themselves, friends or family, according to four sources with direct knowledge of the investigation.

Lynch sentenced to 39 months in prison

A federal judge this morning sentenced former state Senator John Lynch to 39 months in prison for taking kickbacks from a developer, a move that will put one of the most influential political figures in New Jersey in recent years behind bars.

U.S. District Judge Stanley Chesler said he hoped that other public officials in New Jersey "will get the message" as he meted out the punishment in federal court in Newark, three months after the longtime Democratic boss from Middlesex County pleaded guilty to fraud and tax evasion.

MENENDEZ: Now that he's in, Menendez says he's out

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez stands today on the political mountaintop, fresh from his victory in the fall election and finally in the office he's sought since he was a teenager living a Union City tenement.

But his emotions are not what you might expect.

He is bitter about the last election. He is vowing to divorce himself from the daily tussle of Hudson County politics.

And he's telling his daughter, a Harvard University graduate who is considering a career in politics, to find another profession.

"I'm disillusioned with politics," Menendez says. "This election magnified my distaste for the process."

Noted engineer is indicted as part of corruption probe

The founder of a prominent engineering firm that has become one of the state's biggest government contractors was indicted by a federal grand jury on corruption charges yesterday.

The charges against Howard Schoor, 67, of Colts Neck stem from a long-running federal investigation into corruption in Monmouth County that has snared two dozen public officials.

The firm Schoor founded in 1968, Schoor DePalma, has been involved in high-profile projects in the public and private sector and has showered New Jersey politicians with millions of dollars in campaign cash over the years. The firm's engineers have been involved with everything from the Asbury Park waterfront redevelopment to Jersey Gardens mall and the Turnpike's Interchange 13A.

Lynch: Letters to judge support Lynch

Friends and family. Democrats and Republicans. Names that appear often in the newspaper and names that rarely would. What these people have in common is their support for John A. Lynch Jr., who will be sentenced Tuesday in federal court for mail fraud and income-tax evasion.

Crediting Lynch with everything from the revival of the city of New Brunswick and authorship of 160 state laws to assisting a sick woman that allowed her family "to find joy that Christmas knowing she would be in good hands" — the writers of 172 letters urged U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chester to show compassion.

Under sentencing guidelines, the 68-year-old Lynch faces a probable sentence of between 33 and 41 months, and fines of between $7,500 and $75,000.

Menendez: Ex-Menendez fund-raiser called to testify in probe

Federal authorities have subpoenaed U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez's former campaign fund-raiser to testify before a federal grand jury, raising the prospect that their investigation into one of his personal real estate deals may be expanding into other areas.

Dannielle Leigh, 32, of Hoboken, was subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in Newark late last month but has not yet made an appearance, according to her attorney, Remi Spencer.

MENENDEZ: Grand jury probing deal linked to Menendez

NEWARK — Sen. Robert Menendez's office today continued to defend his real estate transaction with a nonprofit organization as a published report said a federal grand jury was hearing testimony regarding the deal.

The Record of Bergen County reported in today's newspapers that two witnesses were questioned by a panel the day before.

Michael Drewniak, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, would not comment today.

The newspaper said one of the people questioned was Lourdes Lopez, who bought a Union City building from Menendez in 2003. Lopez then became landlord to the North Hudson Community Action Corp. Menendez had rented to the nonprofit group for nine years and had helped it obtain federal funds.

Menendez case before grand jury

A federal grand jury has begun hearing testimony in an investigation of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez's relationship with a publicly funded community group.

Two witnesses linked to Menendez's onetime home and law office were questioned behind closed doors in Newark on Thursday, a month to the day after the Democrat's election to the Senate. Three knowledgeable sources described the panel as a special grand jury, a type usually assembled for a single extensive investigation.

The grand jurors heard from Edgewater restaurateur Lourdes Lopez, who bought the building from Menendez in 2003 and took over as landlord to the North Hudson Community Action Corp. Menendez had rented the building to the agency for nine years, during which he helped it get some of its federal money in his capacity as the area's congressman.

Menendez investigation expands. FBI serves subpoenas for data about rent paid to lawmaker

Menendez investigation expands
FBI serves subpoenas for data about rent paid to lawmaker

November 12, 2006 The Record

TRENTON: Authorities have stepped up an investigation of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez's relationship with a federally funded nonprofit organization just days after his hard-fought election victory, according to a senior government official.

The official said FBI agents served subpoenas Thursday and Friday seeking information related to the North Hudson Community Action Corp., which paid more than $300,000 over nine years to rent a Union City building from then-Rep. Menendez.

The subpoenas are being served on close associates of Menendez, as well as people affiliated with North Hudson and other groups linked to the senator, the official said.

On Tuesday, Menendez, a Democrat, defeated Republican state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. to win a full term in the Senate seat to which Gov. Jon S. Corzine appointed him in January. Most of Kean's campaign was a concerted attack on Menendez's ethics, including the lease investigation, which had gone quiet since early September in apparent deference to the political process.

Menendez: More subpoenas in Menendez probe. Feds seek documents on rental, but senator's office denies contact

Federal investigators have resumed their inquiry into a rental deal between U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and a nonprofit agency, issuing new subpoenas in the days after he was elected to a full six-year term, according to a government source.

The subpoenas sought documents related to the more than $300,000 in rent Menendez collected from the North Hudson Community Action Corp. between 1994 and 2003, the source said. It was unclear what records were sought or who was subpoenaed.

"More are coming," said the source, who declined to be named because of the sensitive nature of the investigation.

Bryant: U.S. attorney subpoenas legislative records on Bryant

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- The U.S. Attorney's Office has subpoenaed legislative records related to Sen. Wayne Bryant in what appears to be a widening investigation into the influential lawmaker.

Leon Sokol, attorney for the Senate Democrats, said the subpoena was received by the Legislature's Office of Legislative Services.

He confirmed it seeks information on Bryant, but declined to discuss specifics because it involves a grand jury investigation.

menendez: Embattled Bryant at rally for Menendez. Observer calls it "a huge miscalculation"

CAMDEN — U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez campaigned in Camden on Thursday, sharing the stage with an entourage that included U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, an Illinois Democrat who is a rising star within the national party, and embattled state Sen. Wayne Bryant.

Appearing with Bryant was "a shocking mistake," said Jill Hazelbaker, spokeswoman for Republican candidate Thomas H. Kean Jr.

Menendez has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury to provide details of a lease agreement he signed with a nonprofit group that he helped get federal aid.

And Now The Legislature Is Targeted

Bob Ingle Blog
Saturday, October 07, 2006

And Now The Legislature Is Targeted

U. S. Attorney Chris Christie's office has asked the Office of Legislative Services how subpoenaes can properly be served on lawmakers in Trenton. Looks like Christie's net is spreading.

Perhaps he has in mind a RICO indictment for the entire bunch. That would be a perp walk no one would want to miss -- all of 'em led out of the Statehouse in cuffs to the cheers of thousands.
posted by Bob Ingle at 11:04 AM

Ed Mecka Comments:  Earlier today, Bob Ingle's story was confirmed to me by a highly placed state official. 

The NJ State Attorney General and the Federal Attorney General are working together on this corruption investigation.

I have provided a brief overview of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act , also known as R.I.C.O., for educational purposes only.  

Bryant: Federal authorities join state in probe of state senator

Legal scrutiny of state Sen. Wayne Bryant's mixing of business and politics is broadening with new state and federal subpoenas issued this week, according to published reports.

Bryant, a Democrat, resigned his post as chairman of the state Senate's powerful budget committee after a federal monitor's report earlier in the month found that he had held a no-work, $38,000-a-year job for the University of Medicine and Dentistry.

Menendez's building: The story doesn't measure up

A house is the most costly thing that most people will ever buy, so most of us tend to pay close attention to all transactions surrounding homeownership. In 1984, for example, I bought my first house, a bungalow in Toms River. I still recall the purchase price, the initial mortgage payment and the fee I paid my lawyer.

So I find myself wondering how an intelligent person could go through a real-estate transaction of any sort and have no memory of it. Yet that seems to be the case with U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez. In a recent Star-Ledger article about that Union City rowhouse he once owned and that is now the subject of a federal investigation, a spokesman for the Menendez campaign claimed the senator has no recollection of whether he got a crucial variance in 1988 that would have permitted it to be rented out for commercial rather than residential use.

Bribes, Payoffs, Politics: Two more plead in Atlantic City corruption case

An Atlantic City corruption scandal widened Wednesday as one current and one former city council member each pleaded guilty to attempted extortion.

Councilman Ramon Rosario pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to an attempted extortion charge, admitting he took $14,000 from an undercover FBI agent posing as a Wall Street financier and from an FBI informant who wanted to win city contracts.

Gibb Jones, who resigned his city council seat in August, pleaded to similar charges, admitting he took more than $5,000 from unidentified businessmen between 2003 and January 2006 in exchange for help getting city contracts.

Bryant: State senator 'pressured' U. for job, honor Officials disagree Bryant received positions in an attempt to curry favor

State Sen. Wayne Bryant, a powerful Camden Democrat now under fire for alleged ethics violations, occupies a place in Rutgers' Hall of Distinguished Alumni and, until last spring, was a paid lecturer at the University.

David J. Harris, a former member of the Board of Governors, said University officials gave Bryant the teaching position and honor in order to curry favor with the influential lawmaker.

Bryant stepped down temporarily from his chairmanship of the Senate Budget Committee last Monday amid charges that he secured for himself a no-show job at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. A federal monitor reported UMDNJ received millions of dollars more in state funding once Bryant's employment began.

Menendez: BOB WIPES MUD OUT OF HIS EYES Rips Kean's 'campaign of smear'

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez slammed the campaign of his Republican challenger, Tom Kean Jr., yesterday for enlisting disgraced former Hudson County Executive Robert Janiszewski in what he called a "campaign of smear."

"I think it speaks volumes of Tom Kean Jr.'s campaign," said Menendez, referring to published reports that a researcher for the Kean campaign struck up a pen-pal relationship with Janiszewski, who's serving time in Kentucky prison for extortion, in the hopes of dredging up dirt about Menendez.

Menendez can do little wrong at home in Hudson, poll shows

The race between Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez and Republican challenger Thomas Kean Jr. may be a dead heat across the state, but in Hudson County the hometown favorite is way ahead, according to a recent Jersey Journal/ New Jersey City University poll.

The poll shows Menendez - who grew up in Union City and now lives in Hoboken - with a near 3-to-1 lead in Hudson County over his opponent.

Bryant: Another no-show job for S. Jersey's Bryant? He sent staff from his law firm to argue cases on child support in his stead, court workers say.

New Jersey State Sen. Wayne Bryant, already under federal investigation and accused of holding a no-show job at a state university, is racking up lucrative pension credits for another taxpayer-funded job he doesn't always do.

Bryant earns nearly $60,000 as a lawyer for the Gloucester County Board of Social Services. One of his key responsibilities is to represent the board in child-support cases in Family Court.

Business: Jersey-style

THEY WERE TWO Jersey guys, talking on the phone. Oscar and Donald. Psychiatrist and lawyer. An odd couple if ever there was one.

Oscar begins by asking Donald about a recent vacation trip.

"It was good. It was real nice," Donald says.

He goes on to note that he is "very happy" and "very, very content" -- and then, with a laugh, Donald adds one more thing:

"But I'm back to reality."

The odd reality of psychiatrist Oscar Sandoval and attorney Donald Scarinci, captured on tape in February 1999, may actually determine who New Jersey's next U.S. senator will be.

Corzine asks CRDA to oust its attorney

TRENTON:  Gov. Jon S. Corzine wants the man [Scarinci] at the center of the latest scandal involving U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez to step down from his role as attorney for the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

Donald Scarinci, a longtime fundraiser and ally to Menendez, was caught on tape telling a psychiatrist that Menendez would afford him protection if he rehired a doctor he had fired a year before. The psychiatrist, FBI informant Oscar Sandoval, claims the 1999 conversation intended to send a message ”delivered on behalf of Menendez that Sandoval would lose his government contracts if he did not rehire the doctor.

FBI INFORMANT: Lobs 1999 ethics accusation at Sen. Menendez RACE GETS ROUGHER

TRENTON — The campaign of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., was once again dogged by ethics accusations Thursday after an FBI informant released audiotapes of Menendez adviser Donald Scarinci pressuring the informant — in Menendez's name — to rehire a former employee or risk losing $1 million in Hudson County contracts.

Union City psychiatrist Oscar Sandoval, 55, says he was pressured in 1999 by Scarinci to hire a doctor, Vicente Ruiz. In a recorded conversation, Scarinci told Sandoval that Menendez, then a congressman representing Hudson County, would consider it "a favor." Failure to do so would result in "the law of the jungle" prevailing, Scarinci said.

• Sandoval Speaks For Himself


Menendez uproar stirs speculation As the senator's backers lash at critics, the GOP suggests he'll leave race

For the second time this month, ethical questions rocked the U.S. Senate race in New Jersey, as Democrats rolled out the Gatling guns to take aim at critics of Sen. Robert Menendez and Republicans fanned talk of the senator dropping out of the race.

The frenetic state of the campaign came after yesterday's disclosure that Menendez's longtime friend and fund-raiser Donald Scarinci was secretly taped asking a psychiatrist with government contracts in Hudson County to hire a doctor as a "favor" to Menendez.

Menendez linked on tape to gov't contracts scheme

WASHINGTON (AP) — A childhood friend and close political adviser of Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez used the senator's name to pressure a doctor to share his county government contract, and the doctor believed some of the money would be kicked back to Menendez, according to a transcript of the telephone call and court documents. Menendez campaign spokesman Matthew Miller called the allegations "completely false."

The transcript of the 1999 conversation, obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, depicts an expletive- and chuckle-laden chat between Donald Scarinci, Menendez's friend and adviser, and Oscar Sandoval, a psychiatrist who taped the exchange as part of his work as an FBI informant in a criminal investigation of several northern New Jersey politicians.

Menendez: Audio: Tape adds to Menendez ethics debate

The following conversation was tape recorded by Dr. Oscar Sandoval, a North Jersey psychiatrist and former FBI informant, with lawyer Donald Scarinci in early 1999.

In it, Scarinci tells Sandoval that then U.S. Rep. Robert Menendez, now a member of the U.S. Senate, wanted him to hire a psychiatrist named Vicente Ruiz. Sandoval said the conversation amounted to a veiled threat. The implication was that he might lose his county contracts if he did not go along.

He also tells Sandoval that Hudson County government will not increase payments to cover the new position.

In this excerpt, Scarinci tells Sandoval that Menendez would consider it a favor if he hired Ruiz.

Scarinci says he got involved in the matter at Menendez's request.

Scarinci tells Sandoval that hiring the doctor will afford "protection." Sandoval has said that Scarinci was implying that he could protect his contracts with Hudson County if he hired the doctor.

Listening notes: To listen to this clip, you'll need one of these media players installed on your computer:

(free download)

Windows Media Player
(free download)

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer  9/27/06

Bribes, Payoffs, Politics: Tapes could be trouble for Menendez

The psychiatrist at the center of recent Hudson County corruption cases recorded U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez's close ally invoking the powerful Democrat's name while pressuring the doctor to divvy up county contracts, he and several others said Wednesday.

Dr. Oscar Sandoval, who bribed and then helped imprison a former county executive, said he made tapes that back up his earlier allegations that attorney and Menendez friend Donald Scarinci ordered him to share his county jail contracts with another physician, or else lose them.

Bribes, Payoffs, Politics: Menendez dumps key adviser caught on tape seeking 'favors'

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez's closest political adviser was secretly recorded seven years ago boasting of political power and urging a Hudson county contractor to hire somone as a favor to Menendez, according to a transcript obtained by The Star-Ledger.

Menendez's campaign said last night he had severed his ties with the adviser, Donald Scarinci, after learning of the taped conversation. The two men were childhood friends and Scarinci, a prominent attorney with extensive contracts in state and local governments, has been a key fundraiser for the senator throughout his long political career.

Bribes, Payoffs, Politics: Bryant out as budget chairman over ethics concerns

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Influential state Sen. Wayne Bryant, accused of having a no-work job with a state medical school he helped get millions in taxpayer dollars, has stepped down as chair of the Senate budget committee amid increasing pressure from Legislative leaders.

Senate President Richard J. Codey announced Bryant\'s removal early Monday afternoon, a week after a federal monitor appointed to look into possible Medicare and Medicaid fraud at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey found the school created a job for Bryant in 2003.

Bribes, Payoffs, Politics: How lease deal profited Menendez

For the 20 years that Robert Menendez owned a house on 41st Street in Union City, the property served him well -- first as his home and office, then as a profitable investment.

That was before the three-story brick building caught the attention of federal investigators and became a political headache for the Democratic senator in this fall's election campaign.

GOP and governor decry 'culture of corruption' 'Deeply disturbed' Corzine says 'we need to get our house in order'

The fall of a one-time Senate president and longtime Democratic powerbroker rocked New Jersey's political establishment yesterday and brought calls from Republican leaders and the Democratic governor for cleaning up a "culture of corruption."

Shortly after John Lynch pleaded guilty in federal court in Newark to fraud and tax evasion, Gov. Jon Corzine said he was "deeply disturbed by the breach of public faith, public trust."

"We need to get our house in order," the governor said. "This is a pretty positive step in that direction."

Bribes, Payoffs, Politics: Power broker Lynch to admit corruption Guilty plea by ex-Senate president expected to short-circuit federal graft probe

Former state Sen. John Lynch, the brash legislator who for two decades was a dominant force in New Jersey politics, is scheduled to plead guilty this morning to federal corruption charges, according to a knowledgeable source who has been briefed on the planned proceeding.

Such a plea would bring a sudden and extraordinary halt to an 18-month investigation just days before prosecutors were expected to seek an indictment against the Democratic Party leader and onetime Senate president.

Bribes, Payoffs, Politics: Sources: Democratic Party boss John Lynch to plead guilty to corruption charges in federal court

The Beginning of the End....

Democratic Party boss John Lynch to plead guilty to corruption charges in federal court

Democratic Party boss John Lynch is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court, Newark tomorrow apparently to plead guilty to corruption charges.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark tonight issued a terse statement saying a "political figure'' would appear before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler at 11 a.m. and that the figure was of statewide interest. But the same memo said no comments would be issued on that person's identity.

WNBC television in New York on its Web site tonight said Lynch, a former state Senate president, is about to plead guilty to corruption charges and his lawyers are working on a deal for Lynch.

A source with close knowledge of the investigation confirmed that report.

Christie calls Lynch plea end of era

U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie called the guilty plea of former state Sen. John Lynch the end of an era.

At a press conference earlier today after Lynch pled guilty to corruption charges, Christie praised prosecutors and FBI and IRS agents for their work in the investigation that brought down one of the state's best-known political power brokers.

"Today, an era of corruption and influence peddling for personal profit has been put to an end," he said.

Menendez: Party insiders wonder if Menendez can survive

News of subpoenas at a non-profit group tied to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez set Democratic insiders buzzing Friday about whether to repeat the "2002 switcheroo" that replaced a wounded candidate with a winner in the final weeks of the campaign.

"It's not at the point where party leaders are saying to Bob, 'You gotta get out,' but it could get that way fast," one insider said by phone from a party conference in Atlantic City where Menendez called the subpoenas politically motivated.

Federal "Target of Investigation" Letter

Caution: The following is provided for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice.

Sample Federal Target Letter

This letter is supplied to a witness scheduled to appear before the federal Grand Jury . Here is some helpful background information about the Grand Jury process.

The Grand Jury consists of from sixteen to twenty-three persons from the District of New Jersey. It is their responsibility to inquire into federal crimes which may have been committed in this District.

As a Grand Jury witness you will be asked to testify and answer questions, and to produce records and documents. Only the members of the Grand Jury, attorneys for the United States and a stenographer are permitted in the Grand Jury room while you testify.

Menendez defends himself, denounces timing of probe. Democrat sees 'orchestrated' smear campaign

Facing a federal investigation just two months before his election, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez offered a fiery defense of his honor yesterday and accused the U.S. Attorney of engaging in an "orchestrated" smear campaign to destroy him.

Menendez also faced new questions about the rental deal that triggered the investigation. He has said the House Ethics Committee gave him verbal clearance for the arrangement in 1994, but that there is no written record of the conversation. Yesterday, for the first time, he offered the name of the lawyer he said he consulted: Mark Davis.

However, according to Roll Call, a Capitol Hill publication, Davis left the ethics committee in 1993. Davis died last year.

Bribes, Payoffs, and Politics: Feds subpoena records of Menendez rental deal

Federal investigators have subpoenaed records of a rental deal between U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and a non-profit agency in Union City, launching a criminal investigation that is sure to rock New Jersey’s hotly contested Senate race.

UNDER THE DOME Stuart Rabner the next state Attorney General

 So Gov. Jon Corzine reached into his chief counsel’s office and plucked out Stuart Rabner to be the next state Attorney General.  Rabner comes with the reputation and the credentials to back it up, so on the surface it looks like Corzine finally made a good pick.

The question is: will Rabner be his own man and do the job the taxpayers expect him to do?  Or will he turn out to be yet another political hack who turns tail and hides at the first sign of a law being broken?

Rabner is going to have almost 10,000 employees under his wing, and with the huge backlog of investigations plaguing this state, let’s hope he knows how to use them the right way.

Some investigations that need to be answered:

Atlantic City Council President, Camden Councilman Plead Guilty to Extortion; Contractor Admits Drug Charges

A three-year South Jersey corruption investigation today netted guilty pleas to extortion from City Council president Craig Callaway and Camden Council member Ali Sloan El, both of whom admitted that they accepted bribes from a contractor, in exchange for municipal contracts; the contractor pleaded guilty to an unrelated drug conspiracy charge, U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie announced.

Pair accuse Menendez of conflict. Two Republicans cite rent he took from nonprofit in ethics complaint

Two Republican state lawmakers filed an ethics complaint against U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez yesterday, alleging he broke conflict-of-interest rules by collecting more than $300,000 in rent from a nonprofit agency he helped win millions of dollars in federal funding.


A Hoboken developer and attorney convicted of passing bribes to former Hudson County Executive Robert Janiszewski was disbarred this week by the state's Office of Attorney Ethics.

Joseph Barry, already serving a 25-month prison term, voluntarily consented to disbarment last month, according to court records.

BYRNE SUCCUMBS AT HOME Corrupt, genial political insider rose to power in the 1970s

Colorful Hudson County political insider and admitted bribe bagman Paul J. Byrne was found dead in his Downtown Jersey City residence yesterday afternoon.

Byrne, 59, already blind from diabetes, suffered congestive heart failure and a stroke on March 31, less than a week before he was to be sentenced on charges that he took bribes for disgraced former Hudson County Executive Robert Janiszewski.

While Byrne was in the hospital, doctors determined he needed a bypass operation, but Byrne said he was ready to die. He returned to his Washington Boulevard home after 11 days in the hospital, telling his doctors and family members that he did not want to be resuscitated if he lost consciousness.

Final, fateful chapter in a Hudson epic Byrne's life ends on the day Janiszewski starts his jail term

Robert Janiszewski and Paul Byrne shared a friendship for nearly a lifetime, political power for a generation and the infamy of corruption during the last few years.

Yesterday, the former Hudson County executive and his once- loyal bagman parted for the last time in quintessential New Jersey fashion.

Janiszewski reported to prison.

Byrne died.

BYRNE 'AT PEACE' Tells docs not to resuscitate lets kin know time is near

Among the saints and scoundrels of New Jersey politics, there are few lives as colorful as that of Paul J. Byrne.

A streetwise kid from Jersey City, he rose to become the guru of backroom politics for the state's most powerful Democrats.

There were heady times, fueled by power and graft. And a spectacular fall marked by two final betrayals: first, his lifelong pal, Hudson County Executive Robert Janiszewski, ratted him out to the FBI; then, his own body quit on him.

Now, Byrne says, he's ready to die.

BIG HOUSE FOR BARRY. Hoboken developer is sentenced to 25 months in kickback scheme Ordered to pay $1M restitution, $20G fine 100-plus supporters, dad attend sentencing

NEWARK - Hoboken-based developer Joseph Barry was sentenced yesterday to two years and one month in federal prison, ordered to make $1 million in restitution and fined $20,000 for making kickbacks to disgraced Hudson County Executive Robert Janiszewski.

Barry pleaded guilty in June to four counts of making illegal payments in connection with a federal program. The remaining counts, conspiracy and five mail fraud charges, were dismissed as part of a plea-bargain arrangement.

Davila-Colon is now Prisoner 25094-050 Connecticut prison to be ex-freeholder's home for next 3 years

Former Hudson County Freeholder Nidia Davila-Colon is now prisoner 25094-050.

The former seven-term freeholder from Jersey City, who was convicted on corruption charges in June, has begun her 37-month prison term at a federal minimum security facility in Connecticut.

In one of Hudson County's highest profile political corruption trials in years, Davila-Colon was convicted of passing bribes in 1999 to then-Hudson County Executive Robert Janiszewski, now one of the most notorious government witnesses in North Jersey, who made his debut on the stand during her trial.

Davila-Colon, a county freeholder for 20 years, was committed to the Danbury Federal Correction Institution's "camp," on Friday, said Carla Wilson, a spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Prison in Washington.

Ex-Hudson freeholder gets 37 months for graft

A federal judge yesterday sentenced former Hudson County Freeholder Nidia Dávila Colón to 37 months in prison for passing bribes to the county executive for her boyfriend, a psychiatrist with county contracts.

U.S. District Judge William Bassler said Colón was a kind and compassionate person who had been "heartbroken" and "humiliated" by Oscar Sandoval, the boyfriend who secretly recorded her for the FBI.

But the judge also said Colón, a freeholder for 19 years and the state's longest serving female in elective office, had become a victim of her own ambition.

Bost goes to prison in W. Virginia Former Irvington mayor appealing graft sentence

Former Irvington Mayor Sara Bost reported to a federal prison camp in West Virginia yesterday after losing a bid to remain free while she appeals her sentence on corruption charges.

Bost arrived for a year-long stay at the women's minimum-security camp in Alderson, a prison official confirmed.

The town is a mountainside hamlet of barely 1,000 people in the southern part of the state, near the Virginia border. It's also 480 miles from the New Jersey township where Bost served two terms as mayor, before her once-rising political star crashed.

A chatty Byrne zings Bobby J and wife Beth

NEWARK - As one of Hudson County's best-known back-room political operators and once the bosom buddy of former Hudson County Executive Robert Janiszewski, Paul Byrne can usually be counted on for an outrageous quip, an off-color joke or a thundering accusation.

Yesterday, as he left the federal courthouse shortly after his initial appearance on fraud and extortion charges, the 57-year-old Jersey City resident dished out a little bit of all three, with most of his comments directed squarely at Janiszewski and his wife, Beth.

"O.K., I'm guilty," he declared. "Guilty of being Bob Janiszewski's friend for 50 years."

Former Hoboken Mayor Russo Indicted for Extortion and Bribery

The former mayor of Hoboken, Anthony J. Russo, surrendered to the FBI this morning, after being charged in an Indictment with extortion and bribery for allegedly taking cash from bar owners, and city vendors, including a waterfront parking operator, towing contractor, accounting firm and an attorney, in exchange for official action on municipal contracts, U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie announced.

Russo, who served two terms as mayor between 1993 and 2001, is charged in a seven-count Indictment with six counts of mail fraud in a scheme to deny honest services to the citizens of Hoboken and one count of extortion. His Indictment was returned yesterday and unsealed after his surrender to Special Agents of the FBI in Newark this morning.

JUDGMENT DAY Former Irvington mayor gets jail Bost receives one-year term and stern words following corruption trial

Compared with other New Jersey officials snared in the recent wave of federal corruption cases, former Irvington Mayor Sara Bost seemed lucky.

Her bribery trial ended abruptly in April after the first two government witnesses crumbled under cross-examination. Prosecutors offered to drop the most serious charges if Bost pleaded to a single count of witness tampering. They even pledged not to push for jail time.

By the time Bost arrived for sentencing yesterday, about 50 of her supporters had written to the judge. Renowned defense attorney Raymond A. Brown was there to argue that Bost's 16 years in public office and spotless record made her a good candidate for probation.

Nidia calls it quits Convicted longtime freeholder's resignation effective July 7

Hudson County Freeholder Nidia Davila-Colon announced her resignation yesterday, three days after her conviction in federal court for her role in a 1999 bribery scheme.

In a letter dated Wednesday and sent to the clerk of the freeholders and other county officials, Davila-Colon, 49, the longest-serving member of the board, said her "reputation has been tarnished to a point that the damage is irreparable."

"The road is extremely difficult for me," she wrote. "But I take full responsibility for my actions . There is no better way to phrase it than to say, I'm sorry."

Chronology of events leading up to Davila-Colon's conviction

Chronology of events leading up to Davila-Colon's conviction

Sept. 6, 2001
Hudson County Executive Robert Janiszewski abruptly resigns after 13 years at the helm of county government and disappears. It's later revealed that he had agreed to cooperate with prosecutors after getting caught taking money from a county vendor who was secretly working for the FBI as part of an undercover operation to catch corrupt politicians in Hudson County.

Oct. 18, 2001
Dr. Oscar Sandoval, a Union City psychiatrist who held more than $2 million in contracts to provide psychiatric services to county facilities, denies reports that he was the vendor who was working with the FBI to catch Janiszewski - but it's later revealed that he is.

Jury convicts longtime freeholder on all 5 counts in bribery case Hudson prosecutor to seek Davila-Colon's quick removal

NEWARK - Hudson County Freeholder Nidia Davila-Colon was found guilty in federal court yesterday for her role in a 1999 bribery scheme involving then-County Executive Robert Janiszewski.

After deliberating roughly 10 hours over three days, the jury of five men and seven women filed into U.S. District Judge William G. Bassler's court just after 11:30 a.m. yesterday and returned its verdict, the foreman repeating "guilty" after each of the three mail fraud and two aiding and abetting attempted extortion charges Davila-Colon faced.

The seven-term freeholder from Jersey City will be sentenced by Bassler on Sept. 29.

Most Hudson County politicians are mum on verdict

Reaction in the local political community to Hudson County Freeholder Nidia Davila-Colon's conviction was muted.

Many of those who were asked for comment declined, among them U.S. Rep. Robert Menendez, D-Hoboken, and Jersey City Mayor Glenn D. Cunningham, leaders of the rival Democratic factions in Hudson County. Davila-Colon is a former Menendez staffer and Cunningham is a former county director.

There also was no comment on the verdict from Freeholder Chairman Sal Vega of West New York, nor from Sen. Bernard Kenny, D-Hoboken, the county Democratic chairman. Several of Davila-Colon's freeholder colleagues also declined to comment.

Ex-Paterson mayor gets 37-month term. His apparent lack of remorse in corruption case stuns courtroom

The evidence against Marty Barnes included tape recordings by a cooperating contractor, photos of Barnes frolicking with prostitutes at a Brazil resort and a paper trail showing kickbacks, clothes, trips, furniture, even a new pool and a waterfall.

But Barnes, the once-defiant and reform-minded Paterson mayor, wasn't exactly contrite as he stood yesterday for sentencing in federal court.

Instead, he blamed the rigors of his job.

Barnes told a judge that the hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks and illegal gifts occurred because he had become "bogged down" trying to run New Jersey's third-largest city.

"I probably didn't pay as much attention to other things that I should have," Barnes told U.S. District Judge William Bassler, in a brief and seemingly off-the-cuff statement. "For that, I'm truly sorry."

Paterson mayor accused of graft. Feds charge Barnes took bribes for help in obtaining city contracts

Federal authorities accused Paterson Mayor Martin G. Barnes yesterday of accepting a nonstop stream of free trips, home improvements and luxury items from contractors in return for his help in winning city improvement projects worth millions of dollars.

A grand jury indictment alleges that Barnes sold his office almost from the day five years ago that he became the mayor of New Jersey's third-largest city.