HUDSON COUNTY – A report issued by CNN in the last few hours said that the U.S. Justice Department is allegedly preparing corruption charges against Democratic U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, a former mayor of Union City and former resident of Hoboken.
According to sources quoted by CNN, the Justice Department is preparing to bring criminal corruption charges against Menendez for allegedly helping promote the business interests of a Democratic donor in exchange for gifts.
The move apparently is prompted in part by statute of limitations that could keep the Justice Department from filing changes if the case is delayed.
The case allegedly involves Menendez relationship with Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist, and in part on plane trips Menendez took in 2010 to the Dominican Republic.
When the details emerged in 2013, Menendez reportedly paid back $58,000 to cover the costs of the trips, calling it an oversight.
Late Friday, Menendez responded: “Let me be very clear: I have always conducted myself appropriately and in accordance with the law. Every action I and my office have taken for the 23 years that I have been privileged to serve in the US Congress has been based on pursuing the best policies for the people of New Jersey and of this entire country.”
He added, ”As to Dr. Melgen, everyone knows he and his family, and me and my family, have been real friends for more than two decades. We celebrate holidays together, have been there for family weddings and funerals, and have given each other birthday, holiday, and wedding presents – just as friends do. Lastly, because there is an ongoing inquiry, as much as I would like to, I cannot make any additional comments or answer any questions. That time may come and I hope you all will understand.”
Rep. Albio Sires released this statement: “Sen. Robert Menendez has been a colleague and a friend for many years. We have worked closely together on many issues affecting New Jersey residents. I will say today as I have said many times in the past at all times I have found Senator Menendez to be hard working and a dedicated public servant.
“Yesterday, the senator and his office made it clear that his actions have been appropriate and lawful and the facts will ultimately confirm that.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Menendez on issues of vital concern to our constituents.” – Al Sullivan