Skip to comments.A Sex Scandal in Trenton, and a Puzzle for Detectives (McGreevey, Cipel mess)
Posted on 08/21/2004 4:40:46 PM PDT by Libloather
A Sex Scandal in Trenton, and a Puzzle for Detectives
By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI
Published: August 22, 2004
TRENTON, Aug. 20 - As federal agents investigate Gov. James E. McGreevey's accusation that a former adviser tried to extort millions of dollars by threatening to disclose their extramarital affair publicly, the basic outlines of the case are not in dispute.
Lawyers for Mr. McGreevey and his former aide, Golan Cipel, had dozens of telephone conversations to discuss Mr. Cipel's plan to pursue a sexual harassment and assault lawsuit against the governor and a possible financial agreement in the case before any papers were filed in court. The two sides met face to face at least twice in New York City.
On Aug. 12, just minutes before Mr. McGreevey revealed the affair and announced his resignation, a lawyer who said he was an emissary from Mr. Cipel called Mr. McGreevey's aides and offered to drop the matter if the governor would approve a new medical school in New Jersey. Mr. Cipel had once worked as a media consultant for the medical school.
But much is unknown about the interplay between lawyers for Mr. Cipel, who portrays himself as the victim of Mr. McGreevey's unwelcome advances, and the governor, whose political career and public identity were crashing around him. So as federal authorities focus on an investigation they call serious, they must determine whether the tone and substance of those conversations add up to a shakedown attempt or just a particularly heated and high-stakes legal negotiation.
By filing a complaint, however, Mr. McGreevey and his legal team have opened the door for United States Attorney Christopher J. Christie to delve into whatever allegations of wrongdoing Mr. Cipel might level at his former boss. Mr. Christie is an aggressive prosecutor who has already brought corruption charges against several of the governor's fund-raisers and former aides.
Some Democratic Party leaders are concerned that Mr. Christie, often mentioned as a Republican candidate for governor next year, might obtain leads that quickly transform Mr. McGreevey from the investigation's complaining witness to its target.
But State Senator Raymond Lesniak, who has been Mr. McGreevey's confidant during the tumultuous past month, said the governor had nothing to fear from Mr. Cipel.
"I'll take Golan Cipel's deposition myself," Mr. Lesniak declared in an interview Friday. "He's got nothing on Jim McGreevey. He's got nothing at all."
Because the case will turn on the comparative credibility of Mr. Cipel and Mr. McGreevey, investigators will search for any evidence to corroborate their starkly opposing accounts. Mr. Cipel's lawyer, Allen M. Lowy, said that, contrary to published reports, he never threatened to reveal videotapes of the encounters involving Mr. Cipel and the governor, because no such tapes exist. (Mr. McGreevey's aides also say that there was never any threat to reveal videotapes.)
Mr. Lowy and Rachel Yosevitz, his co-counsel on the case, insist, however, that there are witnesses who can back up his claims, although they have declined to name them or discuss how they might support Mr. Cipel's allegations. Mr. McGreevey's advisers have also declined to say whether they have any documentary evidence, like notes or dinner receipts, to support the governor's description of his relationship with Mr. Cipel as a consensual affair.
That leaves investigators trying to sort through two versions of events that directly contradict each other in several crucial ways. Mr. McGreevey's lawyers and an investigator involved in the case say that there are no tapes of the discussions between the two sides, which would help them sort through the different accounts.
Mr. McGreevey's lawyers say that Mr. Lowy asked for money from the very beginning of their discussions, bragging that he could win a $50 million settlement in the case and demanding $5 million to drop it.
Mr. Lowy insists that Mr. McGreevey's advisers first raised the issue of money and discussed the possible amounts by raising a series of hypothetical questions: "They asked, 'How much do you think you can get for this from a jury? Five thousand? Five-hundred thousand? Five million? Fifty million?'"
Illicit sex is the least of his problems.
There's the billboard scandal, and at least three other investigations underway.
LOL. And only a lawyer can explain the difference!
If Cipel had nothing on McGreevey, then why did he resign?
I heard rumors that Cipel might have gotten involved with McGreevey as part of an Israeli intelligence operation. It sounds like utter nonsense (why would the Mossad care about the gov. of NJ?) but the rumor keeps popping up on the net here and there and I was wondering if anyone had any other information.
The above is a typo. The actual quote was: "He's got nothing on....and neither does Jim McGreevy".
If ANYONE can crack this case - it's YOU! Where ya been?
What's up with Mr. Hair here? He looks like he's doing some combover.
This article mentions a Timothy Saia as a confidant of Cipel. Saia allegedly called the governor to make a deal about the medical school.
This Touro medical school may have been for Chiropractors. I read that somewhere. There is a Timothy Saia who is a chiropractor. I don't know if he is the same person or not.
Here is his site http://www.drsaia.com/education.htm Remember, this may be a different person.
Correction to my previous post. Here is what the article in the NYT said about Saia's role:
"Among the most perplexing developments is the unexplained appearance of Timothy Saia, a lawyer from Livingston, N.J., during the week before Mr. McGreevey stepped down. Mr. Saia arranged a meeting involving the lawyers and Mr. Lesniak, the governor's confidant, in New York on Aug. 9, three days before Mr. McGreevey's resignation. Then he delivered what he said was an 11th-hour offer from Mr. Cipel to drop the complaint in exchange for Mr. McGreevey's approval of Touro College's plan to open a New Jersey medical campus.
Mr. McGreevey's lawyers said that Mr. Saia introduced himself as a friend of Mr. Cipel's, and that they were astounded when he mentioned the college. Touro College is a favorite charity of Charles Kushner, a real estate developer and a major McGreevey campaign contributor, who once employed Mr. Cipel and was under investigation for hiring a prostitute to silence a witness in a fund-raising investigation.
A lawyer for Mr. Kushner, who pleaded guilty this week in federal court to the witness retaliation charge, said his client had not spoken to Mr. Cipel in more than a year, and had nothing to do with Mr. Cipel's lawsuit or discussions with the governor's office.
The college had also hired Mr. Cipel as a media consultant in 2003, and this summer, former Senator Robert G. Torricelli's consulting firm unsuccessfully sought the administration's backing for the medical school, according to the governor's aides.
Mr. Lowy said that Mr. Saia was a social acquaintance of Mr. Cipel but was never a part of the negotiating team. Mr. Saia has declined to comment."
Saia was not the person who phoned the governor before he resigned. I got that confused.
These are probably two different Timothy Saias.
The one connected to Cipel is identified as "a lawyer from Livingston, N.J."
The chiropractor has a Georgia address.
Still, I think I did read that the Touro medical school might be for Chiropractors.
Here is a google cache legal document from New Jersey that mentions Timothy Saia.
It's about legal ethics, but I am not a lawyer.
What do you need - like - the Bat signal? (Don't mean to offend...)
The man's full name is probably Timothy K. Saia
This link is is about a NJ legal charity he gave to.
Here is the link to an osteopathic medical program Touro has in California.
Cipel's father and mother live in Rishon Letzion, Israel according to news accounts. This means First to Zion.
It was the first successful settlement in Israel by the Zionist movement and was founded by ten Russians. It is Israel's foourth largest city and has some organized crime problem. Here is a article about an alleged organized crime figure there named Abergil who does blackmail. Maybe Cipel learned his tricks from this Abergil? It says Abergil's brothers are criminals overseas.
Last Update: 18/05/2004 15:01
Alleged crime boss Abergil arrested for blackmail
By Nir Hasson, Haaretz Correspondent
Police on Tuesday arrested a member of one of Israel's leading crime families. Yigal Abergil is suspected of blackmailing and attempting to blackmail business owners in Be'er Sheva.
Three other suspects were also apprehended. The suspects were bought before the magistrate's court in Be'er Sheva for a remand hearing Tuesday.
Over 60 police and Border Police raided Abergil's house near Rishon Letzion Tuesday, they also raided the homes of three other suspects in Be'er Sheva and Ashdod.
The Negev police region launched a police investigation two weeks ago after a complaint filed by a business owner in Be'er Sheva. Brigadier General Haim Cohen, commander of the Negev region police, ordered the investigation to be given top priority.
Police have named the man the "treasurer" of the organized crime group. He represents his two brothers who are currently overseas. One of the brothers has served in the past as a state witness. The other brother, who is currently in Europe, is allegedly involved in large-scale drug deals.
I kind of wonder about this Kushner who was recently arrested and his relationships to Cipel and possibly Israeli mafias.
In Israel these mafias have big gang wars and even import Russians or others from the former USSR to bomb places.
Not just terrorists bomb people in Israel; criminals do it too.
This Abergil name is the name of a really big crime family.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.