NEWARK — The bribes went down in diners, living rooms and parking lots. New Jersey Assemblymen took them, mayors took them, and so did dozens of others…
…It was a sting operation that could have been taken from the pages of an Elmore Leonard novel: the FBI and IRS agents arrested five rabbis, two New Jersey state legislators, three mayors, political operatives, and many others, as part of a probe that spanned from Hoboken to Israel.
Other records were taken from Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City and from at least one synagogue in Deal. Meanwhile, a top member of the Corzine administration unexpectedly resigned after agents arrived at his home and office with evidence boxes…
Among those charged included newly elected Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, 32, and rabbi Saul Kassin, the 87-year-old spiritual leader of the close-knit Syrian Sephardic Jewish community in Deal and Brooklyn. Others were Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell, 64; Anthony Suarez, 42, the mayor of Ridgefield; Leona Beldini, 74, the Jersey City deputy mayor; Assemblymen L. Harvey Smith (D-Hudson), 60 and Daniel Van Pelt (R-Ocean), 44; rabbi Edmund Nahum, 56, of Deal; and rabbi Eliahu Ben Haim, 58, of Long Branch. In all, 44 people were charged, 29 of them from New Jersey.
The case had immediate political ramifications, particularly for Democrats in Hudson County and the administration of Gov. Jon Corzine. By the end of the day, Joe Doria Jr., the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, abruptly resigned from his cabinet post after his Trenton office and his home in Bayonne were searched by the FBI.
How things change. Here’s an article from July 1, 2009 “New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine praises Hoboken and its new mayor”
Photo from the pro-Christie site, “Save New Jersey”
Corzine was already looking vulnerable in the upcoming race for governor.
The only way the Republicans could lose the upcoming race for governor is if they fear being seen as RINOs and focus on ‘family values’.
If they focus on Dem corruption and law and order, it’s likely that Jersey will become a red state. Well, temporarily purplish, maybe…
UPDATE: Dawn Zimmer, who opposed Cammarano in the recent Hoboken mayoral election, is calling for his resignation.
“And I said maybe and talked to Dawn. She said, ‘I don’t want to take any developer money.’ And I told her, ‘Well, then you have to stop moaning about how much we’re spending — you have to stop telling me we’re throwing away our kids college education.””
According to Stan, Zimmer said she’d “rather write the check herself” than take money from a developer.”
AND ANOTHER UPDATE: A petition has been started to urge Cammarano to resign