Jimmy King pleads guilty; Manzo pleads not guilty
Jimmy King, a former Jersey City Council candidate in May 2009, has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to accepting $15,000 in cash bribes. He admitted in court that he took the money in exchange for expediting zoning and other required city approvals for a development project.
King accepted the money from Solomon Dwek, a cooperating government witness who posed as a developer interested in fast-tracking various real estate deals across Hudson County, including in Jersey City.
King was one of 46 public officials arrested in the summer of 2009 in connection with Operation Bid Rig, a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) corruption bust that relied heavily on Dwek.
King faces 20 years in jail when he is sentenced in January 2012.
Louis Manzo, another defendant in the 2009 corruption case, has pleaded not guilty to allegedly traveling to establish and facilitate a bribery scheme.
A former 2009 Jersey City mayoral candidate, a federal grand jury charged Manzo two weeks ago in a second superseding indictment for this alleged offense. He is charged with two counts of violating the federal Travel Act for allegedly traveling twice in aid of bribery, in February and March 2009, and one count of allegedly concealing and not reporting federal offenses committed by others in connection with the scheme.
Manzo, a former assemblyman, was one of the few to speak out against the FBI sting operation, holding a press conference last year to criticize it.
He is still facing other charges in connection with his alleged dealings with Dwek.
Spectra: Still covering its bases
It’s been a while since Jersey City residents have received any mailers from Spectra Energy, the Texas-based company that hopes to build a natural gas pipeline through Jersey City and Bayonne into Manhattan for New York City energy customers. But the company is still trying to win the goodwill of local residents, many of whom oppose the pipeline proposal.
Next month, the company will make a $50,000 donation to the Scholarship Fund for Inner-city Children, an organization that provides partial tuition scholarships to economically disadvantaged children attending private and parochial schools in Hudson, Bergen, Essex, and Union counties.
When the $5,000 donation is presented August 2, students and staff will be on hand from Hudson Catholic Regional High School; St. Anthony High School; St. Dominic Academy; St. Peter’s Prep.; Benedictine Academy; Don Bosco Prep.; Holy Family Academy; Marist High School; Mother Seton Regional High School; Roselle Catholic High School; St. Benedict’s Prep.; St. Mary of the Assumption High School; and Union Catholic Regional High School.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is reviewing Spectra’s proposal, which has received the support of several labor organizations. The agency is expected to render a decision on Spectra’s application in January 2012.
A Jersey City Reporter story titled, “Is Jersey City crime on the rise?” (July 17, 2011) erroneously quoted the 2010 FBI Uniform Crime Report as listing 49 murders in Jersey City in 2009 and 44 murders in 2010. In fact, there were 28 murders in the city in 2009 and 25 murders last year.