It must be appeals week in Bid Rig III. Another New Jersey politician who found himself tangled in the FBI’s sting is now appealing before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with Bid Rig III, it was a sting operation carried out by the FBI several years back. The operation was aimed at catching New Jersey area politicians who were corrupt, by sending in an FBI informant. The informant, Solomon Dwek, posed as a real estate developer and offered bribes in exchange for promises to contact.
Forty-four people were arrested in the sting operation, including a rabbi.
In an earlier post, we talked about the Third Circuit appeal of Leona Beldini, the seventy-six year old former burlesque dancer turned deputy mayor of New Jersey City.
Now, former Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell is planning to appeal at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, reports the Associated Press.
Writes AP, the Secaucus ex-mayor was found guilty earlier this week on charges of accepting a bribe but was found not guilty on extortion charges. He was convicted of illegally accepting $10,000 in cash from Solomon Dwek, whom he believed to be a real estate developer wanting to do business in Secaucus. Of course, Dwek was wearing a recording device for the FBI.
Elwell's attorney is saying that the verdict is conflicting and confusing, according to the AP. Elwell's attorney, Thomas Cammarata, says that the verdict makes no sense at all, considering that the two crimes -- extortion and bribery -- have essentially the same elements. Yet, the jury found the ex-mayor guilty under charges of bribery and not guilty of extortion.
As in the case of Leona Beldini, it seems like Dennis Elwell will be filing an appeal before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.