a report from NJ.com.
Manzo, one of 46 public officials and religious leaders arrested in the summer of 2009 as part of the massive Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sting known as Operation Bid Rig, was charged with allegedly accepting a $20,000 bribe from Solomon Dwek, a government informant who posed as a developer.
Dwek attempted to have his phony real estate deals expedited by public officials in exchange for cash. Several public officials who were ensnared in the scandal pleaded guilty and went to jail, including former Jersey City Council President Mariano Vega and ex-Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, while a handful of others went to trial, with mixed results.
Former assemblyman and Jersey City Councilman L.Harvey Smith and Anthony Suarez, the former mayor of Ridgefield, were acquitted in 2010 of taking bribes from Dwek as part of Operation Bid Rig. But former Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell and former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini were tried and convicted.
Manzo has long argued that Operation Bid Rig was politically motivated to help the 2009 gubernatorial campaign of Chris Christie. Christie was the U.S. Attorney in Newark when the sting operation was set in motion and most of those arrested in connection with it were Democrats.
U.S. District Court Judge Jose L. Linares may have been persuaded by this argument. In a ruling announced Feb. 17, Linares dismissed two charges that Manzo crossed state lines to commit a crime and two charges that he failed to report the crimes (bribery) of others to authorities. Last year, Linares
also tossed two extortion charges against Manzo.