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Operation Bid Rig 3 Update: Ex-Assemblyman Van Pelt arraigned January 5, 2010

Posted by jefhenninger in News.
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Daniel Van Pelt, a former state assemblyman and Ocean Township committeeman, appeared in federal court today to be arraigned on corruption charges.  I’m still on the fence as to whether or not he will go to trial on the one count indictment of attempted extortion under color of official right.

With no disrespect to his attorney, Robert Fuggi, information I had was that he was going to get another attorney.  Either that information was bad, he has given up on that route or that will happen later.  His attorney is rather vocal compared with the other OBR3 defense attorneys; most of which have said little to nothing.  Of course, you don’t try your case in the media so whose to say if it makes sense to speak to the media in the first place.

The problem with Van Pelt’s case is that there are several facts beyond change.  First, Van Pelt was a powerful politician in Southern Ocean County. Second, he met with Dwek several times.  Third, they discussed Dwek’s plans to build in Waretown.  So, any defense must accept these facts.

In addition, you have the incredible success rate of the US Attorney’s Office and the fact that NJ residents hate politicians.  I also don’t know if Al Santoro will testify against him.  It seems like he could and there seems to be some quid pro quo between Santoro and Van Pelt. 

Keep an eye out for a new indictment against Van Pelt in a few months.  If one comes down, that should make it clear that the case is going to trial.

Story is here.

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