Hoboken officials and JC police officer busted in drug sting
The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office released details on the recent arrests of 17 people in connection with a Jersey City cocaine ring.
The one-and-a-half year sting netted a suspended Jersey City police officer, a Hoboken police officer, a Hoboken fire battalion chief, and a Hoboken Parking Utility employee. All three have been suspended by the city.
Three of the 17 arrests are being prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office; the other arrests are being prosecuted by the county.
For more information, check out this weekend’s Hudson Reporter ( under “Hoboken News.”

Webb-Washington pleads guilty to taking bribes

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday that one-time Jersey City City Council candidate LaVern Webb-Washington, 61, pleaded guilty in federal court in Newark to conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.
Washington had been accused of allegedly conspiring with former Jersey City Housing commissioner Edward Cheatam, political consultant Jack Shaw, and others to receive $15,000 in bribes for government informant Solomon Dwek. She was arrested on July 23 as one of the 44 implicated in the public corruption/money laundering sting.
Washington faces 12 to 18 months in prison and will be sentenced on Jan 12 at 11 a.m.
Washington is the seventh Hudson County public official to plead guilty in the investigation revolving around informant Solomon Dwek. The others are Phil Kenny, Guy Catrillo, Maher Khalil, Edward Cheatam, Denis Jaslow, and Jimmy King.

Fulop says Vega and Lopez should not vote on Kenny’s replacement

Jersey City Counclman Steven Fulop said on Wednesday that his City Council colleagues Mariano Vega and Nidia Lopez should not vote for a replacement for former Ward B Councilman Phil Kenny, who resigned from his seat on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to accepting $5,000 in bribes from the federal government’s cooperating witness, Solomon Dwek.
“While I recognize that the remaining council will be responsible for filling the vacant seat with a temporary representative for the citizens in Ward B, I think that both Councilman Vega and Councilwoman Lopez should refrain from voting for the replacement until their individual legal situations are resolved. To think that temporary council people will select a temporary representative, who will vote on important decisions, for the citizens of Ward B is not fair to the residents of the city. I would hope they both take the proper and fair steps in this matter and abstain from voting.”
The “legal situations” that Fulop refers to are Vega’s arrest on July 23 as one of the 44 implicated in the public corruption/money laundering scandal, and Lopez’s legal issues with her residency in New Jersey and Florida, which affects her status as a council member.
Vega, when reached for comment, said it was “absurd” for Fulop to ask for him to abstain.
“It is the people who elected me to serve on the council, not Fulop the emperor,” Vega said.
As far as replacements, various names have surfaced but sources close to City Hall say Mayor Healy is looking at city employee David Donnelly, son of former Ward B City Councilwoman as a replacement for Kenny. Healy when asked said while he thought Donnelly would be a “good choice,” he would not say if it was his final choice.

Healy still against 77 Hudson St. abatement change

The grand opening of the two-tower 77 Hudson St. complex in downtown Jersey City happened on Thursday.
Attended by Mayor Jerramiah Healy, associates of K. Hovnanian and EQR, the developer’s partners in the project, and other guests, the opening for the two buildings – a 420-unit condo building and a 481-unit rental building – was not without some intrigue.
Last month, Healy in a letter to the City Council advised them to not vote for a change to the initial 20-year tax abatement being sought by K. Hovnanian. The change would extend the abatement to 30 years with the payments spread out to 11 percent for the first 5 years, 13 percent for the next 5 years, and then 16 percent for the final 20 years. Healy wrote that 77 Hudson Street is located in an area that will see a consistent stream of residents moving in and does not need the abatement to survive the tough economy.
K. Hovanian official Tom Graham said at the opening that his company will make a presentation next week in City Hall to convince the council to approve the change when it comes time to vote on the abatement when it is up for a vote at a future meeting.
However, Healy when interviewed said he will “not change his mind” on standing against the abatement.

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