Former Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell sentenced to 30 months in prison
Former Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell was sentenced Thursday in Federal Court to 30 months in prison. He was convicted of bribery in July and faced between 33 and 41 months in federal prison. According to news reports, his lawyers had asked federal Judge Jose L. Linares to sentence him at the lower end of the range he faces.
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, allegedly through Ronald Manzo, in order to get favoritism on development projects. Elwell has said he saw the money as a campaign contribution rather than a bribe.
Elwell apologized to his family, the court, and the residents of Secaucus for the embarrassment caused by the case.
His lawyers have said they will appeal his conviction. Judge Linares denied an attempt by the former Secaucus mayor to have his bribery conviction overturned last year.
Charges against Ronald Manzo’s brother, the former Assemblyman and Jersey City mayoral candidate Lou Manzo, were dismissed earlier this year. Ronald Manzo awaits sentencing at the end of this month.
School board election is April 17
Residents will vote in the school board election being held on April 17. Polls will be open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. A total of four candidates are running for the three available seats. The candidates include incumbents Thomas Troyer and Gary Riebesell and newcomers Robert Anderson, former union president, and Kelli D’Addetta, Clarendon Parent Teachers Association president. The Secaucus school system has a student enrollment of 2,211 and more than 260 professionals that includes teachers, administrators, directors, and custodians. The total operating budget proposed for the 2012-2013 school year is almost $35 million. The tax levy portion represents $31,636,305, an increase of $620,320, which is within the state’s two percent cap. If approved, taxpayers would see an average increase of $74 in their school taxes.
Author of ‘The Tree in Calle Sulaco’ to appear at library
James Dette will discuss his novel, “The Tree in Calle Sulaco”, at 7:30 p.m. on April 19 at the Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center. His first novel, “ROLLMOPS,” was published in 2003. He notes that his work for the American Institute for Free Labor Development in Ecuador provided the grist for his latest novel. Dette’s latest novel talks about a genocide being perpetrated in Latin America where the murders of trade unionists and cooperative leaders and their supporters occur on a regular basis. Although these activists have spouses, children, friends and a community who grieve the losses, these facts are never fully revealed in the brief news articles reporting these terrible deeds. To register for the event, call (201) 330-2083.
Harmon Cove giant flea market April 21
The Harmon Cove Rec Board and the Secaucus Animal Shelter present the First Annual Harmon Cove Giant Flea Market to benefit the animal shelter on April 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Meadowlands Hospital Parking Lot. The event will include face painting, barbecue, and family activities. To reserve a table or make a donation, contact Susan Pirro at (201) 362-4435.
Woman slashed at Secaucus Junction
A convicted felon with 14 prior arrests has been charged with aggravated assault for slashing a perfect stranger five times at the Frank R. Lautenberg Secaucus Junction Station last Tuesday after he accused her of stealing his medication, according to news reports. The 65-year-old man from Brooklyn approached the Essex County woman around 3:45 p.m. as she stood on a platform and slashed her left forearm, upper arm and back. In addition to aggravated assault he has two weapons offenses.
Central Judicial Processing Judge Margaret Marley in Jersey City set his bail at $100,000 cash or bond and ordered him to undergo a psychological evaluation. He is barred from posting bail until the evaluation is complete. The victim was rushed to surgery for her wounds.
Meadowlands Hospital Surgery Clinic opens
Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center opened a new Surgery Clinic on Monday that provides free consultation and guidance to those contemplating surgery. The clinic will be run by Dr. Ghassan Khani, board-certified surgeon and the hospital’s Chief Medical Officer. Those who need specialized surgery will be referred to the surgeons with the necessary expertise and experience. The clinic opened on April 9 at Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center and will be open Mondays from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. and on Thursdays from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. All patients are welcome for a free surgical consult.
NJMC to Host Two-Day Business Seminar
The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) will host a two-day business seminar on April 18 and 19. The goal of the Downtown Revitalization Management Institute (DRMI) is to help the Meadowlands Region strengthen its downtowns and business communities in the lead up to the 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII. The conference is being held in partnership with the Department of Community Affairs Office of Main Street New Jersey and Improvement District Program. Both days will be held at the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission Environment Center, Richard W. DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is suggested that participants register as soon as possible to secure a spot. For additional information, including registration fees, please visit: njmeadowlandsdrmi.eventbrite.com.