Former Mayor Elwell slated to be sentenced in two weeks
U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares has denied an attempt by former Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell to have his bribery conviction overturned or have a new trial, upholding his conviction, in a ruling filed Oct. 20, according to published reports.
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 15, but that date could change depending on the completion of the pre-sentencing report. Elwell faces several years in prison.
On July 6, a federal jury acquitted Elwell of conspiracy to commit extortion and attempted extortion, but convicted him on bribery, in connection with a government sting. Federal prosecutors claimed that Solomon Dwek, an FBI informant posing as a real estate developer, gave Elwell $10,000 cash through an intermediary in order to get favoritism on development projects. Elwell has said he saw the money as a campaign contribution rather than a bribe.
Lawyers for Elwell argued before before Linares in court in September, requesting a new trial or acquittal due to prosecutorial misconduct and insufficient evidence. Elwell’s defense claimed the former mayor’s character was tainted after the prosecutors attempted to associate him with a history of corrupt politics and politicians in Hudson County even though he had no connection.
The defense also pointed to statements made by juror Luis Alba to the Star Ledger that Alba had reasonable doubt of Elwell’s guilt.
Gov. Christie supports the extension of NYC subway to Secaucus
Gov. Chris Christie is in favor of extending the New York City No. 7 subway line to Secaucus, which is an idea NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering, he told WCBS radio in an interview.
Bloomberg is spending $250,000 toward a feasibility study on the expansion idea. Christie said he supports the project if New York contributes its part.
“I like this idea a heck of a lot better and here’s why: it would do what the [now-canceled railroad] ARC tunnel was originally supposed to do, which is to connect New Jersey with the East Side of Manhattan,” he said. “Secondly, we’re approaching this as a partnership, unlike the ARC tunnel.”
Christie cancelled the $8.7 billion ARC tunnel project, which was supposed to run through Hudson County into New York City, because he projected overruns up to $5.3 billion above the initial cost.
Dodge the ball ‘fun raiser’ Nov. 6 for Secaucus Volunteer Fire Dept.
A local publication is hosting a Dodge the Ball tournament at the Secaucus recreation center on Nov. 6 at 10 a.m. If you are interested in supporting the volunteer firefighters by adding a team, call Don Evanson (201) 902-9742. Team donation is $100 and proceeds go to the Fire Department.