King pleads guilty to extortion in connection with July 23 arrests
Jimmy King, an unsuccessful candidate for Jersey City Council in the May municipal election (Ward C), pled guilty on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Newark to one count of conspiring to commit extortion by admitting that he accepted $10,000 in bribes from government cooperating witness Solomon Dwek in return for exercising his influence, if he got elected into office, to help Dwek get approvals for a purported condo project that Dwek wanted to build in Jersey City.
King was one of the 44 arrested on July 23 in a public corruption/money laundering sting by the federal government.
King, 67, a former executive director of the Jersey City Parking Authority, former chairman of the Jersey City Incinerator Authority, and a former Hudson County undersheriff, also admitted to U.S. District Judge Jose Linares that he had agreed to accept an additional payment from Dwek after the election.
Also mentioned in court was that King met Dwek and received payments on March 24 and April 23 in restaurants in North Bergen and Jersey City respectively. Also present at these meetings was the late Jack Shaw, who passed away on July 28, and Edward Cheatam, who pleaded guilty on Sept. 18.
King faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, the federal sentencing guideline for King is 12 to 16 months at Judge Linares’ discretion.
After the plea, King offered no comment but his attorney, Arthur Abrams, said his client is “very sorry for what has occurred.” King will be sentenced on Jan. 5.
Walkway now open 24 hours
Officials announced Monday that the Long Slip Pedestrian Bridge connecting Jersey City to Hoboken will be open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The previously restricted portion was built by big-time Jersey City developer LeFrak Organization. Jamie LeFrak, managing director, said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday that his concerns about liability were cleared up by the state and his hesitations in regard to public safety on the structure late at night were cleared up with Jersey City's assistance.
The city will install closed-circuit cameras and call-boxes along the riverfront path.
Waterfront activist Helen Manogue, a vocal proponent for the open access, was present. She also wanted to clarify a statement she made in last week’s Reporter. Her statement, “The walkway was funded by taxpayer dollars,” actually should read, “The bridge with its segment of the walkway was funded by taxpayer dollars.”
Authorities crack down on illegal sale of untaxed cigarettes
The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit reported last week that working jointly with the New Jersey Department of the Treasury Office of Criminal Investigation and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, they recently dismantled a group allegedly involved in the illegal sale of untaxed cigarettes to retailers and others throughout northern New Jersey and New York, including numerous retailers in Hudson County.
Arrested in the operation thus far were Rajae Awad, 39, of Elizabeth; Anwar Ghani, 46, of Elizabeth; Jamal Abbadi a.k.a. Jamal Alyazjeen, 40, of Elizabeth; and Ahmad Aldabesheh, 48, of Mohegan Lake, New York. Each has been charged with theft by deception in the second degree, forgery, and conspiracy. The investigation is continuing and additional arrests are anticipated.
New Jersey imposes taxes of $2.70 on every pack of cigarettes sold.
This group routinely purchased large quantities of untaxed cigarettes in other states at significantly lower prices and transported them to a storage facility in Linden.
Community health fair at Christ Hospital
Christ Hospital in Jersey City will present a free community health fair this Wednesday, Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the ground floor of the hospital, located at 176 Palisade Ave. Registration is not required.
The health fair will include free blood pressure and blood glucose (sugar) screenings, which will be conducted by senior nursing students enrolled in the Christ Hospital School of Nursing.
Also, medical staff will provide information on a variety of topics.
For more information, call the Public Relations Department at Christ Hospital at (201) 795-8030.
Hudson County band plays on
Musicians from Hudson County are invited to join the Hudson County Intergenerational Community Band, which is seeking amateur adults (even if you’re rusty!), professionals (some professionals will be paid for coaching), and intermediate to advanced students (6th through 12th grade and college). Woodwinds, brass, and percussion – no strings or keyboard.
No audition is necessary and registration is free.
Rehearsals are from 6 - 8:30 p.m. at Jersey City Middle School 7, 222 Laidlaw Ave., between Summit Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard.
Rehearsal dates are Monday Nov. 2, Thursday Nov. 12, Monday Nov. 16, Thursday Nov. 19, Monday Nov. 23, Monday Nov. 30 and Thursday Dec. 3 (concert).
Weekly attendance is recommended but not mandatory. Students are eligible for free transportation. For more information call (201) 521-0345.
Become an advocate
The New Jersey Dept. of the Public Advocate, Division of the Elderly, is looking for dedicated, committed, and caring people to be volunteer advocates for nursing home residents in Hudson County. After completing 32 hours of training in communication, observation, and trouble-shooting skills, the advocates visit nursing facilities in their communities for a minimum of four hours a week. Their role is to visit and address concerns regarding living conditions, daily activities, and quality of care. For additional information, call Volunteer Advocate Coordinator Sue Rosenkranz at (973) 226-1041.