Posts Tagged ‘Lou Manzo’
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Lou Manzo (gov)

After a federal judge in Newark last month dismissed several charges against a former New Jersey lawmaker, proceedings in that case and in several related cases have been put on hold as prosecutors in the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s office appeal the decision, The Star Ledger reported.

Former state Assemblyman Lou Manzo was one of 44 individuals –  including 29 New Jersey elected or public officials — arrested in July 2009 on charges of public corruption and money laundering. The assemblyman and his brother Ron Manzo are accused of accepting $27,500 in illegal campaign contributions while Lou Manzo was running for mayor of Jersey City. The money, allegedly paid in exchange for help with building permits, came from an individual who was operating as an FBI informant. Lou Manzo, a Democrat, has argued the case was a ploy to help elect the former U.S. Attorney in New Jersey, Chris Christie, in what turned out to be his successful bid for governor.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Jose Linares rejected the extortion charges against the brothers because neither held public office when the alleged bribery occurred. The Manzos still faces wire fraud and bribery charges.

Federal prosecutors plan to appeal Linares’ decision, The Star Ledger reported, a move which some lawyers believe could delay cases of several defendants. John D. Lynch, a lawyer for Louis Manzo, said, “Everything is in limbo.”

Edward Hartnett, a Seton Hall Law professor who specializes in federal courts, told the newspaper, “At the end of the day, this may just push defendants from one charge to another.”

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Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Lou Manzo (gov)

The former New Jersey lawmaker who claims that the FBI and federal prosecutors in the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s office committed “outrageous government misconduct,” during an investigation has an additional federal charge lodged against him, according to a news release from the New Jersey federal prosecutor.

A federal grand jury this week returned a seven-count superseding indictment against former state Assemblyman Lou Manzo. Manzo was one of 44 individuals –  including 29 New Jersey elected or public officials — arrested in July 2009 on charges of public corruption and money laundering.

The new superseding indictment, which was filed on Thursday, adds one count of mail fraud to the original, six-count indictment returned on Oct. 6, 2009. The additional count carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s office also is seeking forfeiture of $27,500 in corrupt payments that were connected with the new charge.

Last month, Manzo alleged that the July 2009 public corruption case was designed to help former New Jersey U.S. Attorney Chris Christie (R) win the 2009 gubernatorial election. According to Manzo, prosecutors in the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s office contributed to Christie’s campaign, received promises of jobs in a Christie administration and provided him with information about developments in the public corruption probe after Christie resigned the U.S. Attorney post in December 2008 in order to run for governor.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

A copy of the indictment is embedded below.

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Lou Manzo (gov)

A lawyer for a former New Jersey lawmaker on Tuesday asked a federal judge today to hold a hearing to determine if the FBI and federal prosecutors in the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s office committed “outrageous government misconduct,” during their investigation, The Star Ledger of New Jersey reported Tuesday.

Former state Assemblyman Lou Manzo was one of 44 individuals –  including 29 New Jersey elected or public officials — arrested in July 2009 on charges of of public corruption and money laundering.

During a press conference last week, Manzo alleged the public corruption case was designed to help former New Jersey U.S. Attorney Chris Christie (R) win the 2009 gubernatorial election. According to Manzo, prosecutors in the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s office contributed to Christie’s campaign, received promises of jobs in a Christie administration and provided him with information about developments in the public corruption probe after Christie resigned the U.S. Attorney post in December 2008 in order to run for governor.

The Associated Press reported last year that the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility had opened an internal investigation into comments made by then acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra at a news conference announcing the sting case.

“This was in the middle of a campaign in which the man was running for governor of the state of New Jersey, and this indictment helped him,” Manzo’s attorney John David Lynch told The Star Ledger Tuesday.

Federal District Judge Jose L. Linares did not rule on the request for a hearing. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Gramiccioni told the newspaper it would be “inappropriate” to grant the request, adding that Lynch had not made his case in writing and proving such allegations would be very difficult.

During a pretrial hearing on Tuesday, Gramiccioni said the government is making another presentation to the grand jury to seek additional charges against Manzo, according to The Jersey Journal. The charges will stem from the same acts acts for which Manzo has already been charged, according to Gramiccioni.

Manzo was indicted for allegedly taking $27,000 in bribes from FBI informant Solomon Dwek to use in a failed Jersey City mayoral campaign, the newspaper reports. Manzo also is charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under the Hobbs Act, a 1951 federal law that prohibits public officials from using their positions to obtain bribes.

During the hearing, Lynch argued that the Hobbs Act does not apply to Manzo because he did not hold an elected position at the time of their alleged crimes. Gramiccioni countered the act applies to Manzo because he allegedly took the bribes in exchange for his promise to secure permits for a development project when he became an elected official.

The next pretrial hearing in both cases will be May 11, according to The Jersey Journal.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

https://www.mainjustice.com/2010/03/15/ex-pol-n-j-corruption-case-designed-to-help-christie-win/
Monday, March 15th, 2010

Lou Manzo (gov)

A July 2009 public corruption case that netted 44 individuals was engineered by then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie to win the governor’s office, a former New Jersey lawmaker alleged during a news conference Monday.

Last summer, 44 individuals –  including 29 New Jersey elected or public officials — were arrested on charges of of public corruption and money laundering. The Associated Press reported last year that the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility had opened an internal investigation into comments made by then acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra at a news conference announcing the sting case.

During a news conference that took place Monday morning in Jersey City, N.J., former state Assemblyman Lou Manzo, who was among those arrested, said that prosecutors in the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s office contributed to Christie’s campaign, received promises of jobs in a Christie administration and provided him with information about developments in the public corruption probe after Christie resigned the U.S. Attorney post in December 2008 in order to run for governor, The Associated Press reported.

“It’s obvious, when you connect the dots, there was an attempt to use a government sting as an effort to help Christie’s election to the governor of New Jersey,” Manzo said.

“It is shameful that this once great symbol of law and order has denigrated into the characteristics of a political ward club,” Manzo said, according to The Hudson Reporter.

Manzo also said he had filed a complaint with a federal judge concerning the alleged misconduct.

A spokesman for Christie dismissed the allegations.

“He appears to be just another official in New Jersey charged with corruption who wants to divert attention from his own conduct,”Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said.

Since winning the November 2009 election against incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine (D), Christie has tapped 10 former colleagues in the U.S. Attorney’s office for state posts including ex-First Assistant U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra — who became acting U.S. Attorney in December 2008 when Christie resigned to run for governor — and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele Brown who resigned from her job as acting First Assistant U.S. Attorney in August amid several campaign-related controversies.

Manzo also denounced the conduct of the U.S. Attorney’s office in prosecuting the case.

This post has been updated since it was first posted.

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Lou Manzo (gov)

A former New Jersey lawmaker on Monday will release information about alleged prosecutorial misconduct in the handling of a public corruption case, The Hudson Reporter of New Jersey reported Friday.

In July 2009, 44 individuals –  including 29 New Jersey elected or public officials — were arrested on charges of of public corruption and money laundering. The Associated Press reported last year that the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility had opened an internal investigation into comments made by then acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra at a news conference announcing the sting case.

Former state Assemblyman Lou Manzo, who was among those arrested, said that on Monday he will hold a press conference at which he will present “evidence documenting issues of prosecution misconduct in the Bid Rig III investigation and prosecution,” according to a news release from Manzo.

Last week, Manzo told the newspaper that his evidence relates to campaign donations to then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie from attorneys working on the sting. Christie was waging what turned out to be a successful campaign for governor. According to the newspaper, the case ultimately benefited Christie’s campaign.

This post has been updated since it was first posted.