Trial begins of former Deputy Mayor Beldini

Former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini, 74, began her trial last week on a charge that she allegedly took $20,000 in bribes from a government informant posing as a developer last spring. She has pleaded not guilty.
Beldini is one of 44 politicians and religious leaders arrested last July 23 in a government sting attempting to stem official corruption.
At the time that Beldini allegedly collected the money, she was the treasurer of Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy’s ultimately successful re-election campaign. Several of those arrested have said they took the funds as donations for the campaign. Healy himself has not been charged with any crimes.
Last week, after jury selection, the trial proceeded on Thursday and Friday. Solomon Dwek, the government informant who told Jersey City officials he was planning a development on Garfield Avenue, took the stand on Thursday and Friday to talk about how he would bribe officials. The defense plans to question him this Monday.
According to a published report, the FBI also told the jury some of how they conducted their surveillance, and video was shown of Dwek meeting with various Jersey City officials.
As the trial heats up, the Reporter will provide coverage later this week.

Heights man charged with killing brother

Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said Wednesday that Matthew McGovern, 43, of Central Avenue in Jersey City was arrested Monday after allegedly killing his brother, David McGovern, 45, in an early morning fight.
DeFazio said that it is believed that alcohol played a role in prompting the murder. David McGovern was stabbed in his side and in his back multiple times with a steak knife.
DeFazio said Matthew McGovern called police after the alleged stabbing, and when they arrived at the home that McGovern and his brother shared, they found David McGovern dead. DeFazio said police recovered the knife used to stab David McGovern.
DeFazio said on Tuesday, Matthew McGovern appeared in Central Judicial Processing Court in Jersey City to answer to the charges. DeFazio said bail for Matthew McGovern is set at $750,000 cash only.
Anyone with information on the murder can contact the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office’s Homicide Squad at (201) 915-1345.
This was the third homicide of the year in Jersey City. — RK

Jersey City begins citywide distribution of H1N1 Vaccine

Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy and the Department of Health and Human Services announced recently the citywide distribution schedule for the H1N1 vaccination. Any and all residents wishing to get the H1N1 vaccination will be able to do so at the below indicated clinics, on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Between 4 – 8 p.m.:
Wednesday, Feb. 3 – Maureen Collier Senior Center, 335 Bergen Ave.
Wednesday, Feb. 10 – Pershing Field Center, 201 Central Ave.
Wednesday, Feb. 17 – City Hall Council Chambers, 280 Grove St.
Wednesday, Feb. 24 – Joseph T. Connors Senior Center, 28 Paterson St.
Wednesday, March 3 – Mary Bethune Community Center, 140 Martin Luther King Drive
Between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m:
Saturdays, Feb. 27 and March 6 – City Hall, 280 Grove St.
In the event of inclement weather for the Saturday clinics, call City Hall Security Desk at (201) 547-4686. For any further information, call (201) 547-6800.

JC Museum presents Target First Fridays

This Friday, Feb. 5, from 5 – 9 p.m., it’s Target First Fridays at Jersey City Museum, 350 Montgomery St. at Monmouth. Starting at 5 p.m., the museum invites the public to a wine tasting, refreshments, new sounds from a local DJ, and hands-on family activities in the atrium. Select brand new spring 2010 exhibitions are on view in the galleries: “Hair Tactics” and “John Ross and Clare Romano: A Life in Prints.”
At 8 p.m. performing in the museum’s theater, acclaimed pop band Higgins and opening act, singer/songwriter Heather Duby.
This event is free and open to the public. Special admission is required for the 8 p.m. concert, which $8 for JCM members and $10 for non-members. Tickets will be available at the door.
Target First Fridays is sponsored by Target.
For more information, visit or call (201) 413-0303.

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