FBI informant Dwek gets 6-year sentence

Former Monmouth County real estate developer Solomon Dwek, who became an FBI informant in a major political corruption sting after getting ensnared on fraud charges of his own, was sentenced to six years in prison Oct. 19 by U.S. District Court Judge Jose Linares.
In 2006, Dwek tried to deposit two fraudulent $25 million dollar checks into his bank. After he was arrested, the FBI used him in a massive 2009 sting operation.
In Operation Bid Rig, Dwek met with local officials and political candidates and offered them donations in exchange for their promises to favor his development applications in their towns.
More than 40 people were arrested, including former Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano and former Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell. Dwek’s plea agreement called for 9 to 11 years in prison, but an assistant U.S. attorney asked for a reduction to three or four years.

Crowne Plaza closing restaurant

The Crowne Plaza in Secaucus, a 304-room hotel located by the Hackensack River, is closing its restaurant and laying off 70 employees, according to a news report in The Record. A company identified as La Plaza filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development last week and listed the Crowne Plaza address according to the news report. The filing also listed closing the restaurant as the reason for terminating 70 restaurant workers, effective Dec. 12. General Manager Bernie Mendoza could not be reached for comment.

Halloween safety emphasized

The Secaucus police department has issued a public safety notice advising parents the following: to teach their children to always check-in before going anywhere with anyone, draw a map of the neighborhood with their child; mark safe places children can go such as the library, school, police and fire stations if followed by a stranger; and role-play scenarios of stranger awareness. For children, the police advise to be aware of dangerous situations, trust their instincts, stick with friends, and think “no, go, yell and tell an adult” if in a dangerous situation.

Severe storm warning preparations

The municipality has issued an advisory alert to residents to remain cognizant of the upcoming storm predicted for late Sunday evening into Monday. Local agencies are preparing against severe storm damage by bringing in extra pumps, generators, sandbagging areas, and checking all equipment. Residents should stay tuned to local weather updates and should check the local cable channel or town web site: for any updates.

Symposium brings together business leaders

Over 70 business leaders from Bergen and Hudson Counties on Oct. 23 attended the Rotary Business Symposium at La Reggia in Secaucus. The event was organized by members of the Hoboken, Meadowlands, Rutherford and Secaucus Rotary Clubs. Jim Kirkos, president of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber, spoke about business opportunities for the 2014 Super Bowl and Formula One Race. Other topics included business expansion loans, healthcare reform, and Rotary community initiatives. Contact Don Evanson (201) 902-9742 for further details about Rotary.

Magical Night with the Harlem Wizards

Over 700 students, parents and teachers on Oct. 8 gathered at the Secaucus High School for a special evening with the Harlem Wizards, who celebrate 50 years as a traveling professional basketball team. The event raised nearly $6,000 that will benefit the school district. Principal Linda Wilhelm and educator Allan Bonin led the Huber Street School team, and Robert Valente led the Clarendon Elementary School team. Secaucus cheerleaders performed. Event sponsors include the Secaucus Spectator, PNC Bank, Meadowlands Audi and the XChange.

Gifts for adopted children

Local Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteer Patty Belenski is collecting teddy bears and/or gift cards to local restaurants or stores to give to children and their families on Nov. 16 during National Adoption Day. Hudson County CASA, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, United Way of Hudson County, and UPS are co-sponsoring an event at the Hudson County Court House when 25 children will begin new lives after suffering abuse or spending time in the foster care system. To contribute a teddy bear or gift card, call Patty at: (973) 568-3503 or email:

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