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Operation Bid Rig 3 Update: 2 more plea out September 18, 2009

Posted by jefhenningeresq in News.
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This case is moving really quick.  Today, Edward Cheatam an ex-Jersey City education and housing official admitted that he took $70,000 in bribes and introduced a government informant to an several  Democratic officials who  also took bribes. They include:  state Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith, former Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, former Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell, former Jersey City council candidate Louis Manzo and Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini.

He also said that he funneled $15,000 in illegal contributions to the campaign of Jersey City’s Democratic Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy in exchange for his and Beldini’s help securing approvals for a luxury condominium building.  While Healy has not been charged, I think the hammer is about to drop.  For his credit, Healy said that he donated any campaign contributions from the defendants to charity.  Beldini has pleaded not guilty, for now.

Also today, Denis Jaslow a Hudson County board of elections investigator.  admitted to accepting $15,500 for introducing the informant to Joseph Castagna, a Jersey City health officer, and Michael Manzo, a former candidate  for the city council.

At this point, I’ll be shocked if more than a small handful of these guys go to trial.  I would not be shocked if none of them do.

Story is here.

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