HUDSON COUNTY – Political consultant Joseph Cardwell admitted on March 1 to saying he would pass along a $10,000 bribe to a Jersey City official to promote a real estate deal, said U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman. Cardwell was among the local politicians and religious leaders ensnared in a government sting operation in 2009.
Cardwell, 69, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Jose L. Linares to an indictment charging him with aiding and abetting the offer and giving of, and agreeing to give, a bribe to a Jersey City public official.
Between July 2008 and March 2009, Cardwell participated in several recorded meetings and telephone calls with Solomon Dwek, an FBI cooperating witness posing as a residential real estate developer. At one of these meetings, Cardwell accepted $10,000 from Dwek introduce him to public officials to assist Dwek in obtaining approvals for his purported real estate development projects.
As part of the plea agreement, Cardwell agreed to forfeit $31,500, representing the amount of money that he received during the course of the investigation in purported bribe money and payment for facilitating the bribe.
The charge to which Cardwell pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for June 21, 2011. - Al Sullivan