Skip to comments.Former Secaucus (NJ) Mayor Sentenced to Prison for Taking Bribe (RAT)
Posted on 04/12/2012 5:24:28 PM PDT by Larry381
NEWARK, NJFormer Secaucus, New Jersey Mayor Dennis Elwell was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for accepting a $10,000 cash bribe in exchange for agreeing to provide assistance in securing town approvals for purported real estate projects in Secaucus, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
A jury found Elwell, 66, of Secaucus, guilty following a two-week trial in July 2011. Elwell was convicted of one count of bribery and acquitted on one count of conspiracy and one count of attempted extortion under color of official right. U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares presided over the trial and imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
Corrupt public officials betray and unfairly tarnish all of us who live and work in this state, said U.S. Attorney Fishman. Despite his obligations to the people of Secaucus as their mayor, Dennis Elwell took $10,000 in cash to play favorites. It is tragic when someone who clearly understands the rewards and responsibilities of public service trades his principles for private gain.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
On May 28, 2009, Elwell met with businessman and friend Ronald Manzo, Edward Cheatam, and Solomon Dweka cooperating government witness with the governmentat La Reggia Restaurant at the Meadowlands Plaza Hotel in Secaucus. During that meeting, Dwek purported to be a developer interested in building a large-scale real estate development in Secaucus. He offered to pay Elwell $10,000 green in exchange for the mayors future assistance, action, and influence in favor of his development projects. At the end of the meeting, Dwek gave $10,000 in cashwhich was intended for Elwellto Manzo in the parking lot of the hotel restaurant. Elwell then accepted the $10,000 in cash from Manzo, knowing that the cash payment was being made in exchange for his future official assistance.
On July 17, 2009, Elwell met with Cheatam, Manzo, and Dwek at Secaucus Town Hall. During that meeting, Elwell confirmed that he had received the $10,000 in cash from Manzo and that he was happy with it.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Linares sentenced Elwell to serve one year of supervised release and ordered him to pay a $10,000 fine. The $10,000 bribe payment will also be forfeited to the government.
Manzo and Cheatam pleaded guilty to charges that arose from related investigations. Manzo is currently scheduled to be sentenced on May 1, 2012; Cheatam awaits sentencing on a date to be determined. Dwek is detained pending sentencing following his guilty plea on an unrelated charge.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark; and the IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge JoAnn S. Zuniga, for the investigation leading to the sentence.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen Nakly of the U.S. Attorneys Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
I remember when all of those politicians were arrested (mostly Dems); the most pathetic part was how little they sold their souls for. This guy just gave up 2 and 1/2 years of his life for $10K.
He is just a drop in an ocean of corrupt Rats.
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You’re from Manhattan, you’re from SECAUCUS!!!
Before you see-caucus, you smell-caucus. A rat infested smelly swamp of a town, literally and figuratively. It’s inbred, slovenly Townie inhabitants that have lived there since the bronze age have only themselves to blame.
I see that nothing has changed with Hudson County Democrats.
Amazing. The entire press release didn't even once mention the fellow's political party. Even the Justice Department's Newark Division (all Democrats, no doubt) has brass balls when it comes to hiding the fact that Mayor Ewell is a Democrat.