Responding to a defense request to dismiss the corruption case against U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, (D-NJ), a federal judge in Newark threw out seven of the most serious bribery charges related to campaign contributions, but allowed the case to proceed on other charges involving gifts and trips given to Menendez.
In a last act before withdrawing from the case, U.S. District Judge William Walls – who served as judge during the 2017 Menendez trial, tossed out the most serious charges, saying federal prosecutors failed to prove that campaign donations given to Menendez influenced his decision to help his friend and co-defendant Salomon Melgen navigate the federal bureaucracy in behalf of his business.
Menendez’s defense team is expected to request that the other charges also be dropped. But if such a request is made, it’ll have to be before a new judge, once one is assigned, now that Judge Walls has removed himself from the case, said sources with knowledge of the situation.
Menendez is accused of corruption because he received sizable campaign contributions from Melgen as well as trips and gifts.
Walls declared a mistrial in the 2017 case when the jury reported it was deadlocked 10 to 2 in favor of acquittal.
The Department of Justice announced earlier this month it would seek a retrial.
In an event scheduled for Friday, Jan. 26, Hispanic civic and elected leaders from across New Jersey were expected to gather on the steps of Elizabeth City Hall to denounce the U.S. Department of Justice for accusing Menendez, the nation’s highest-ranking Latino elected official and leading immigrant rights advocate, of “racializing” the legal proceedings in court.
“Given the Trump Administration’s continuous attacks on immigrants, voting rights and other crucial issues, the state’s Hispanic community fears the decision to retry Senator Menendez is the latest example of the DOJ being weaponized to target minorities,” said a Democratic release issued by the Hispanic leadership.
Driver arrested in fatal hit and run
Oriental J. Hamlet, 19, of Jersey City, was charged with aggravated manslaughter and other charges said Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez. The newly established Hudson County Regional Fatal Collision Unit arrested Hamlet on Thursday, Jan. 24.
Hamlet is suspected of being behind the wheel of an SUV that struck and killed Umar King, 33, a deaf pedestrian, who was waiting for a bus near the intersection of Communipaw Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard on Jan. 23.
The allegedly stolen Toyota 4-Runner crashed into a bus-stop shelter, where King was standing. After coming to a stop, the driver of the stolen car, as well as two other occupants of the car, allegedly fled on foot. One of the occupants of the stolen car, a 16-year-old male, was stopped a short distance away and detained.
To date, no charges have been filed against the juvenile.
Public presentation set for LSP marina plan
Suntex Marinas has announced that company officials will hold a public presentation to outline details of a proposed marina at the southern edge of Liberty State Park.
Although activists and officials from Jersey City sued to stop the project, a Superior Court ruled in mid-January that it could proceed.
The presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 10:30 a.m. at Liberty House restaurant, located at the northern end of the park, adjacent to the existing Liberty Landing Marina.
The event will include a presentation from Suntex officials as well as renderings of the proposed marina. There will be a question and answer period to follow.
“This is an opportunity for people to come and learn about the proposal first-hand,” said Suntex Senior Vice President Ron TenEyck. “There has been a lot of misinformation spread about our plan for the southern marina and this is a chance for people to hear exactly what we have proposed.”
Along with the marina, Suntex plans to refurbish the dilapidated public boat launch as well as construct a public fishing pier at the park’s south side. Suntex also will update the popular picnic area at the south end, which over the years has fallen into some disrepair.
Meanwhile nearby Liberty National Golf Course is seeking permission from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to leave a peninsula just south of the proposed marina development to expand the private club.
City to hold Black History month event
Jersey City will hold a Black History Month commemoration in City Hall council chambers on Feb. 1 at 5 p.m. The event is sponsored by Mayor Steven Fulop, Councilwoman Joyce Watterman, and the city’s office of Cultural Affairs. Guest speaker will be Rev. Dr. Stanley Hearts, pastor of Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Church. Guest singer will be Alicia Cooper. The event will be followed by a flag raising.
For more information contact Kia Deadwyler at (201) 547-5108 or by email KDeaddwyler@ncjj.org
Jersey City Public Library hosts Black History events
The Jersey City Free Public Library will celebrate and honor Black History Month with several programs
The library will hold two screenings of the Academy Award-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro, based on James Baldwin’s unfinished memoir Remember This House, with discussions led by local scholars Dr. Robert Perry at the Miller Branch Wed., Feb. 21 and Dr. Antoinette Ellis-Williams at the Greenville Branch on Saturday Feb. 24.
Author Jason Bost comes to the Greenville Branch for a reading, discussion, and signing of his book White N----r: The Struggles & Triumphs Growing Up Bi-Racial in America on Tues., Feb. 6.
The library is accepting student essays for its annual Black History Month Essay Contest at the Heights Branch. Submissions are due by Wed., Feb. 21; winners will be announced Mon., Feb. 26;
Miller Branch’s Annual Black History Celebration will include special awards presentations by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, live performances, and more on Wednesday Feb. 28.
Kids can make their own African Clay Masks at Five Corners Branch on Saturday, Feb. 24 and the Heights Branch on Wednesday, Feb. 28.
Explore the Underground Railroad Quilt Code with crafts and games at the Cunningham Branch on Wednesdays, Feb. 21 and 28.
For directions to various branches or other information contact Shane Smith at (201) 547-4579 or go to www.jclibrary.org.
Applications sought for city summer internship program
Mayor Steven M. Fulop has announced the opening of the online application for the Jersey City Summer Internship Program (JCSI). Now in its fifth year, JCSI is a competitive program that places eligible public high school students in paid work-based learning opportunities at the City’s leading corporations and nonprofit organizations.
The program also includes an orientation session and weekly professional development classes, where students apply what they learn in their internships. Students earn academic credit through the Hudson County and Jersey City School Districts. To date, JCSI has provided over 250 Jersey City public school students with high-quality summer internships.
Developed by the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation (JCEDC), in collaboration with the Jersey City Mayor’s Office and the Jersey City Public Schools, JCSI is part of the city’s broader Jersey City Youth Works initiative, a comprehensive, multi-program youth employment and enrichment initiative that has provided summer employment for more than 3,500 young people in city departments and agencies, corporations and nonprofits since the initiative began in 2014.
All Jersey City residents who are enrolled in their junior year at a public high school in Jersey City or Hudson County Schools of Technology (County Prep and High Tech) are encouraged to apply, using the following link: https://jcsiprogram.wufoo.com/forms/jersey-city-summer-internship-program-application/.
Admission to JCSI begins with the online application, which requires students to submit, among other information, a transcript, report card, letter of recommendation, résumé, and two essays by March 5, 2018. Students who submit completed applications are then interviewed by representatives of participating organizations. Applicants will be notified whether they have been accepted to the program in May and June 2018.
Dress for Success holds a Valentine’s Day Ball
Dress for Success will hold a Valentine’s Day ball, its annual fundraiser, on Feb. 9 at the Liberty House Restaurant, 75 Audrey Zapp Drive, in Liberty State Park.
The event includes a red carpet walk, dinner, dancing, and a silent auction.
Cocktails begin at 6 p.m., with dinner and dancing to follow.
For further information please contact Joy Devlin- firstname.lastname@example.org or (973) 220-1351.
HCCC hosts ‘Valentine’s Date Night’ dinner class
Hudson County Community College (HCCC) invites individuals to work alongside one’s date, spouse, friend or significant other at the HCCC “Valentine’s Date Night” culinary class on Friday, Feb. 9 from 6 to 10 p.m. The event will be held at the College’s Culinary Arts Institute, located at 161 Newkirk St., Jersey City, two blocks from the Journal Square PATH Transportation Center. The class is limited to eight couples (two people must register together), and the price is $55 per person.
Those interested in participating should know it doesn’t matter whether they or their partners barely know how to boil water or if they’re cooking pros. The evening will begin with a glass of champagne. Then, attendees will be able to enjoy working alongside their valentines for a night of romance and delightful food. In addition to preparing a tasty, quality dinner that will be paired with wine, couples will be served molten lava cake for dessert.
Registration may be handled online at www.tinyurl.com/hcccculinaryspring2018 or by phoning (201) 360-4262. Credit card, money order, cash, or check payments are due at time of registration. Additional information may be obtained by calling HCCC Community Education at (201) 360-4224 or emailing email@example.com.
Ernst & Young to sponsor SciTech City project
Ernst & Young will team up with Liberty Science Center (LSC) to sponsor the SciTech City project.
The $280 million project will feature a biotech lab, a coding lab, a technology business incubator, and a K-12 STEM-focused school, as well as a scholar’s village with residences for visiting scientists. The project would be on a 14-acre site located on Jersey City Blvd.
Ernst & Young is expected to contribute its knowledge with leadership in innovation and assist clients with understanding how changing technology affects their business.