Christie: 'another example of people putting private interests ahead of the public interest'

NEWARK - U.S. Attorney Chris Christie today announced the indictment of Bergen County Democratic Organization (BCDO) Chair Joseph Ferriero and former Bergenfield Borough Attorney and BCDO counsel Dennis Oury on eight counts of conspiring to defraud the Borough of Bergenfield.

"This is another example of people putting private interests ahead of the public interest," said Christie, referring to the two men who are tomorrow scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate here in Newark.

Never disclosing their owenership of a fledgling company called Governmenal Grants, according to the indictment, Oury and Ferriero allegedly received $25,016.97 and $27,538.04 respectively from the Borough of Bergenfield for helping the town receive a grant and loan package.

The rest of $128,625 the men received from the town they disbursed to "other individuals associated with Governmental Grants," the indictment says.

"No where did Ferriero and Oury disclose their ownership of Governmental Grants," said the U.S. Attorney. "They didn't file disclosure forms. Ferreiro never told anybody. Disclosure would have put their greed into the light of day."

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Huttle says indictment brings “a new day in Bergen County”

Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri-Huttle (D-Englewood), who’s part of a Democratic reform faction that has found itself at odds with Joe Ferriero more often than not, was optimistic today about the future of the party after Ferriero’s indictment. 

“I think this signals a new day in Bergen County.  My position has always been on the side of good government and reform,” she said. “I think this gives us an opportunity as we move forward to achieve that, and it is time to unite and come together for the sake of the Democratic Party.”

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Cardinale won't play judge and jury on Ferriero

Reacting to the indictment of Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joe Ferriero and county Democratic counsel Dennis Oury, State Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Demarest) was careful not to pass judgment. 

So if Cardinale feels bittersweet feelings about what could amount to the political downfall of Ferriero, who made it his pet project last year to oust Cardinale and his Republican running mates, he’s careful about expressing it.

“I got a great deal of satisfaction out of beating them in the last election.  I’m not going to be putting myself in a position of sitting there as judge and jury,” said Cardinale.  “We have a system of justice and it works.  I think we should all watch that play out.”

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Ferriero and Oury indicted

Ferriero and Oury indicted

An announcement of Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joe Ferriero's indictment is expected at 3PMAn announcement of Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joe Ferriero's indictment is expected at 3PM

U.S. Attorney Chris Christie will annouce today that Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joe Ferriero and counsel Dennis Oury have been indicted on eight corruption counts.

The indictment charges both men of "conspiring to defraud the Borough of Bergenfield of Oury’s honest services and using the mails in furtherance of that scheme," according to a media advisory from the U.S. Attorney's office.

Oury is the former Bergenfield Borough Attorney, and has been under investigation with Ferriero over a grants writing firm that both had a stake in.

Christie plans to make the announcement during a press conference at 3:00PM.

 

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A Tuesday armistice in Newark

NEWARK - In the middle of a political battlezone in the lead-up to the Nov. 4th presidential election, the forces of President George Bush aligned with the Democrats on the ground here in New Jersey to support the expansion of a prisoner re-entry program in the City of Newark.

Gov. Jon Corzine today stood with state Attorney General Anne Milgram, Mayor Cory Booker, representatives of the U.S. Department of Labor and others to announce the infusion of $5 million in county, state and federal prisoner re-entry funds.

The program expansion will beef up opportunities for Newark ex-cons to get job coaching, job readiness training and mentoring, Milgram told a packed crowd in the Dryden House near Lincoln Park.

The attorney general laid out the stats: 60 percent of those released from prison are re-arrested, and 50 percent are re-convicted. With the expansion of this program, "we know we can successfully drop the recidivism rate," Milgram said.

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Yudin sees opportunity for Bergen GOP

Democratic lawyer Dennis Oury (left), whose indictment is expected to be announced today, with Freeholder David GanzDemocratic lawyer Dennis Oury (left), whose indictment is expected to be announced today, with Freeholder David Ganz
Bergen County Republican Chairman Bob Yudin admits that, after a decade of Democratic gains, Bergen County will not likely return to the Republican bastion it once was.

His appeal to the voters in the upcoming freeholder and county clerk races is not to start a movement for total Republican control of the county, but to create a two-party system that he feels has been sorely lacking.  That the federal investigation of his Democratic counterpart, Joseph Ferriero, and Democratic lawyer Dennis Oury may have little effect alone on the local races, but that it underscores the need to bring the Republican Party out of the political wilderness.

“I think it’s very, very unfortunate for the people of Bergen County, and it shows what one party rule leads to. The residents of Bergen deserve a two party government and this has underlined how important that is,” he said.   “The corruption, the pay-to-play in Bergen County is systemic, and the only way to change this is to bring back the two party system. Elect republicans to at least share in the running of government.”

Even if he wanted to, Yudin would be hard pressed at this point to make this election a referendum on Ferriero.  Republican consultant Thom Ammirato has polled Ferriero’s name recognition in races past, and it has not exceeded nine percent – despite the Democratic power broker’s huge influence in the every day workings of county government.

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Christie to make "significant" corruption announcement today

Christie to make "significant" corruption announcement today

Look for big news today from U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie: Getty Images PhotoLook for big news today from U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie: Getty Images Photo
U.S. Attorney Chris Christie plans an announcement this afternoon “concerning a significant public corruption matter of interest mainly to media covering northern New Jersey.”

The announcement will take place the Peter J. Rodino Federal Building at 3p.m. 

The U.S. Attorney’s office will not identify the parties involved, and said that no court appearances are scheduled for today. 

PolitickerNJ.com will be there to cover it.  Stay tuned. 

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Baraka prepares for 2010 council run

Former Newark Councilman Ras Baraka plans to announce his plans for a 2010 run at the Newark City Council tomorrow evening at the Key Club.

Principal of Central Ward High School, the South Ward-based Baraka is the son of poet/political activist Amiri Baraka. He assisted state Sen. Ronald L. Rice (D-Essex) in Rice's re-election bid last year, and is a political foe of the Booker Administration.

Baraka ran in opposition to the Booker Team in 2006.

The prospective council canddiate notified supporters of his Wednesday reception via email.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 24, 2014

Organization to honor Gov. KeanAn event next month for Community Options, Inc. will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the organization's founding and honor Governor Tom Kean, Sr., a was an advocate over 25 years ago for bringing individuals with developmental disabilities out of state institutions into small group homes.Robert...

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Op-Ed

How the City of Paterson became a city in crisis

By HAYTHAM YOUNES As the May 13th election for Paterson officials nears, I've noticed a lot of candidates running using slogans and empty promises as if they weren't around watching Paterson get to where it's at today. I think it's important that... Read More >

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Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is the only Tea Party group that endorsed Mitt Romney. These guys are the Vichy French of the Tea Party movement. They're the guys who say 'Viva la France,' and then you can't find them when the fighting starts. Come on." - GOP strategist Rick Shaftan, on the Independence Hall Tea Party group.

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