Politicial Bribes

Hudson and Morris County Poles indicted in ‘old style’ corruption case


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4 New Jersey politicians charged with bribery in 2019 had been indicted by a state grand jury in alleged schemes to obtain tens of 1000’s of {dollars} in bribes disguised as marketing campaign contributions – in a single case, a paper bag full of money.

The defendants are accused of promising a tax lawyer that they’d vote to award his agency public contracts in trade for the unlawful contributions, in accordance with state legal professional normal Gurbir Grewal. The tax lawyer was a cooperating witness working for the Grewal workplace.

The accused embrace Sudhan Thomas, a former president of the Jersey Metropolis faculty board; Jason O’Donnell, former state deputy and councilor for Bayonne; former Morris County free shareholder and Parsippany councilor John Cesaro; and former Mount Arlington metropolis councilor John Windish.

The grand jury indicted the 4 with second diploma bribery, whereas Thomas, Cesaro and Windish had been charged with official misconduct and different fees.

“The conduct alleged in these indictments is the worst old fashioned political corruption – one which erodes public confidence in authorities and which we’re decided to root out,” Grewal mentioned in a press release.

The tax lawyer on the heart of this case has by no means been publicly recognized by Grewal’s workplace, however is extensively recognized to be Matt O’Donnell. O’Donnell – no connection to the accused Jason O’Donnell – ran a now-closed regulation agency in Morristown that garnered hundreds of thousands of contracts with cities in New Jersey whereas his authorized accomplice, household and buddies did electoral contributions to politicians in these areas. cities. Companion Elizabeth Valandingham was commissioned by Grewal’s workplace in June to supervise this alleged straw donation program which concerned 5 individuals near her.

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The allegations characterize cartoonish examples of the kind of public corruption for which New Jersey is notorious. Grewal’s workplace alleges that Thomas, after promising to make the co-operative witness the particular actual property legal professional for the Jersey Metropolis faculty district in trade for $ 35,000 in bribes, instructed the witness: “No person doesn’t query something ”. Thomas additionally faces a slew of federal fees alleging he embezzled tens of 1000’s of {dollars} from a federally funded Jersey Metropolis nonprofit that helps join poor individuals with jobs.

O’Donnell and Thomas are Democrats. Cesaro and Windish are Republicans.

Thomas’ legal professional declined to remark.

Jason O’Donnell was operating for mayor of Bayonne on the time of the alleged bribe. Grewal’s workplace alleges that the witness supplied $ 10,000 in “road cash” for O’Donnell’s guarantees to make him Bayonne’s “tax professional”. O’Donnell pleaded not responsible in Hudson County on Tuesday. His lawyer was not obtainable for remark.

Cesaro is accused of taking $ 12,350 in bribes for his run for mayor of Parsippany and of promising tax work for the witness. Windish was a municipal councilor in Mount Arlington, the place Matt O’Donnell was as soon as the borough’s longtime lawyer. Windish is accused of taking $ 7,000 in trade for promising to vote for O’Donnell’s renewal.

Legal professionals for Cesaro and Windish didn’t reply to requests for remark.

Mary Dougherty, a former Morris County landlord candidate and spouse of the city’s mayor, was charged with the 4 males in 2019. She was not subsequently charged, however Grewal’s workplace mentioned she was persevering with. to face the cost of second diploma corruption. from 2019.

Terrence T. McDonald is a reporter for NorthJersey.com. For limitless entry to a very powerful information out of your area people, please subscribe or activate your digital account at present.

E mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @terrencemcd


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