HOBOKEN -- Early in Wednesday night's Hoboken City Council meeting, Council Vice President Michael Russo resigned from the vice presidency in response to the damaging FBI tapes of him released this week. He still remains on the council and is running for re-election on May 10.
He was also removed as chair of the council's Finance Committee.
Russo also sits on the Hoboken Housing Authority board, which oversees Hoboken's public housing projects. Some believe he should resign that position too.
Several residents blasted him early in the meeting. And some allies of Mayor Dawn Zimmer also blasted Zimmer's rival, Council President Beth Mason, who until Tuesday was a Russo ally on the council. Tuesday, Mason denounced Russo's actions on the tape. But speakers said on Wednesday that she should go further and demand that Russo resign his other positions.
Earlier that day, Zimmer -- who is often criticized by Russo and his allies -- released expedited transcripts of the Russo tapes, which cost the city $943.50.
On the tapes, Russo has lunch and apparently nods in agreement with a plan for a purpoted real estate developer to give him a $5,000 campaign donation. The faux developer was FBI informant Solomon Dwek, who asked Russo for preferential treatment with development projects. Dwek was used by the FBI to bring down dozens of politicians and religious leaders in a 2009 sting operation. Russo was never charged with any wrongdoing, as he did not actually take a bribe.
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