Manzo sentenced to three years probation for conspiring to pass $10,000 to Elwell
Ronald Manzo was sentenced May 1 to three years of probation for conspiring to provide a $10,000 cash payment to Dennis Elwell, the then-mayor of Secaucus, as well as one year of probation – including five months of home confinement – for violating terms of his probation from a previous criminal conviction, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Manzo, 68, a businessman from Bayonne, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares in Newark federal court to an indictment charging him with conspiring with Elwell and others to obtain $10,000 in exchange for Elwell’s future official assistance on real estate deals. Judge Linares sentenced Manzo to three years of probation on that charge, as well as a year of probation with home confinement, including electronic monitoring, for violating his previous probation.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, during the spring of 2009, Manzo participated in several meetings with Solomon Dwek – a cooperating witness with the government who was posing as a residential real estate developer – and Edward Cheatam, who was an affirmative action officer for Hudson County and a commissioner of the Jersey City Housing Authority. Manzo was informed by Dwek that he was interested in meeting public officials who could assist with his development interests in North Jersey, including Secaucus. Manzo was told Dwek would pay cash to Elwell for his assistance.
Manzo arranged and participated in a meeting between Elwell, Cheatam and Dwek around May 28, 2009. Manzo and Elwell were informed by Dwek that he would provide cash to Elwell in several installments – including at that time, after Elwell’s upcoming primary election in June and after the upcoming November election – in exchange for Elwell’s future official assistance in Dwek’s real estate development matters in Secaucus.
Also during that meeting, Manzo accepted $10,000 in cash from Dwek, with the intention of providing that cash to Elwell. Manzo testified that shortly after the meeting with Dwek he provided the $10,000 in cash to Elwell, knowing it was paid in return for Elwell’s future official assistance. Manzo admitted that he later confirmed with Dwek during a meeting at a diner that he had passed the $10,000 cash payment to Elwell by writing down on a napkin, “yes, no problem,” which Manzo then showed to Dwek. Manzo admitted receiving additional cash payments from Dwek during the course of the investigation, including a $5,000 payment for facilitating the $10,000 cash payment to Elwell and $27,500 in other payments.
Elwell was sentenced April 12 in Federal Court to 30 months in prison. He was convicted of bribery in July.
In 2004, Manzo pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of securities fraud and perjury and was sentenced to three years probation. It was that probation that Manzo violated by committing the most recent offense.
In addition to the supervised release, Judge Linares fined Manzo $30,000 and ordered him to forfeit $42,500.
New leadership of school board
On April 26, the Board of Education met to reorganize the leadership and elect the president and vice president. Board trustee John “Jack” McStowe was elected as president 6 votes to 3 votes. Gary Riebesell was elected as vice president and voted in unanimously. McStowe was re-elected to the board in 2010 for his second term. He has previously held the board president position. Riebesell was recently re-elected to his second term on the board. All other matters were tabled to the next meeting, which will be held Wednesday, May 9 at Huber Street Elementary School.
Seminar for businesses on lobbying, issue advocacy held May 8
The Hudson County Chamber of Commerce and the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership will host a seminar for business owners and leaders interested in learning more about lobbying and issue advocacy on Tuesday, May 8 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. in Dineen Hall on the campus of Saint Peter’s College.
The goal of the event is to provide the business community with a primer on how to best engage with policy makers on issues that affect business in New Jersey. The session will be moderated by the Honorable Joseph Doria, a former commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and State Assembly Speaker. Doria will moderate a panel discussion featuring professionals who understand how to navigate policy making at the state level: Frank Robinson, vice president, New Jersey Business & Industry Association; John B. Wilson, president, Association of Independent Colleges & Universities in New Jersey; and Kay LiCausi, president, Hoboken Strategy Group.
“Businesses of every size need to be engaged in policy making discussions and our goal at the Chamber is to help our members, and the larger business community, learn how to begin having such conversations,” said Maria Nieves, the Chamber’s President and CEO. “We hope to demystify the advocacy process and provide some concrete tips on how to effectively lobby. We’re pleased to work with the Guarini Institute on this event.”
The breakfast will begin with networking, followed by a panel discussion, and a question and answer session. It is sponsored in part by the Guarini Institute. Founded in 1888, the Chamber currently represents more than 300 members, facilitates forums with local, state and federal officials, and provides a platform for business networking and partnerships.
To register for this event, contact the Chamber: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secaucus fire company to host pasta dinner
Hose Company 2 in Secaucus will host its second annual Pasta Dinner on May 6 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Burger Stop, which is located at 333 Meadowland Parkway. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children, and the event is free for children under age five. The ticket includes an all-you-can-eat buffet, assorted pastas with salad, bread, soda, cake and coffee.
For more information call: (201) 330-2073 or call Greg Lentini, Jr. at: (201) 522-0396.
Harmon Meadow Run for the Warriors to be held
Hope for the Warriors has partnered with Hartz Mountain Industries Inc. and the Town of Secaucus for their second annual 5K Harmon Meadow Run for the Warriors, which is being held on May 6 at 8:30 a.m. Registration is at 7 a.m. The 5k begins at 9 a.m. The 1-mile run is at 9:05 a.m. The event will take place at 700 Plaza Drive in Secaucus.
Last year’s Harmon Meadow Run for the Warriors raised more than $50,000, which went to support Hope for the Warriors programs in Secaucus and surrounding towns.
Hope for the Warriors is a national, nonprofit organization that supports wounded U.S. service members, their families, and families of the fallen. A group of military wives founded the organization in 2006.
Individual registration is $25 and $15 for military personnel and veterans. Awards will be presented to the fastest three female and male runners, as well as the top three runners in each age group and hand-cycle users. For more information, visit www.hopeforthewarriors.org/harmonmeadowrun or call (910) 381-8272.
Alzheimer’s Association to host free workshop at library
The Greater New Jersey Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will host the third program in its three-part series at 7 p.m. on May 21 at the Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center. This third and final program, “The Caregiver: Are Your Needs Being Met?” in the series will address the needs of the caregiver. Michelle Foster-Carter, education specialist at the Alzheimer’s Association will present on the symptoms of caregiver stress and offer strategies towards becoming a healthier caregiver and setting realistic expectations.
To register, call (201) 330-2083. For additional information on Alzheimer’s disease or support to individuals, families and caregivers coping with it, call the Alzheimer’s helpline at (800) 272-3900 or visit www.alz.org/nj.
Guitar workshop held at the library
The Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center will hold a Guitar Workshop on May 12 at 1:30 p.m. with musician Jeff Saxon. This two-hour workshop is open to all ages and it will cover guitar basics. Patrons will learn the names and functions of the components of a guitar, as well as be shown the various ways to tune a guitar, how to properly hold the guitar, and learn the names of the open strings. Basic chords, along with fretted notes and troubleshooting unclear notes will be briefly taught as well.
Registration is required for the Guitar Workshop and interested participants must provide their own acoustic guitars and guitar picks. Electric guitars are permitted. To register, call (201) 330-2085.