Court date set for former Assemblyman O’Donnell in alleged bribery case
A Feb. 14 court date has been set for former Bayonne Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell regarding his alleged involvement in a bribery deal during his 2018 mayoral campaign. O’Donnell made an appearance alongside lawyer Leo Hurley Jr. at the Central Judicial Processing Court in Hudson County on Jan 15.
Former State Assemblyman O’Donnell, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Bayonne in 2018, is charged with accepting a $10,000 cash bribe.
O’Donnell allegedly solicited $10,000 in “street money” for his mayoral campaign from the cooperating witness. In return, O’Donnell allegedly agreed to provide the cooperating witness with tax work from the City of Bayonne if elected mayor.
O’Donnell allegedly accepted a paper bag containing $10,000 in cash from the cooperating witness at his campaign headquarters at which time the cooperating witness allegedly said, “I just wanna be your tax guy,” and O’Donnell allegedly responded, “Done.”
O’Donnell also allegedly failed to file required campaign reports with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission disclosing the $10,000 contribution.
The alleged criminal conduct occurred between April and May 2018.
Public hearing to define service animals
The Bayonne City Council will hold a public hearing on Feb. 19 regarding the definition of service animals in the city.
The new ordinance could limit or expand what animals fall under the category of service animal and how they could be used in Municipal Services.
The public hearing will be held at the February council meeting at Dorothy E. Harrington Council Chambers in city hall.
Bayonne Nature Club bird walks
The Bayonne Nature Club will host a bird walk on Jan. 25 behind the South Cove Commons shopping center. Residents interested are invited to meet the nature club at the first green bridge behind Otaiko Restaurant.
The walk will last from 10 until 11:30 a.m. Those interested are advised to bring binoculars. The Bayonne Nature Club will bring the scope.
Winter ducks and hawks struggling to survive the cold might be seen on the walk.
The club will host a simultaneous bird walk at Stephen Gregg Hudson County Park. Those interested should meet at the gate of Rutkowski Park near the restrooms.
Bayonne residents can join the Bayonne Nature Club by attending a bird walk, meeting, or shoreline cleanup, or by helping with the butterfly garden.
For more information, go to bayonnenatureclub.org.
Office of Emergency Management to receive $20K grant to fight terrorism
The Bayonne City Council authorized the mayor to request, accept, and spend a $20,000 federal grant to fight terrorism, among other disasters, at the Jan. 15 meeting. The federal award will be go into the Bayonne Office of Emergency Management from the New Jersey State Police Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM).
The purpose of the grant is to enhance Bayonne’s ability to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism, natural disasters, and other catastrophic events and emergencies.
All municipal Emergency Management Agencies (EMAA) are eligible to apply for an evaluation to receive funding. To determine municipal eligibility to apply for an EMAA subaward, interested municipal agencies must complete the NJOEM EMAA Funding Eligibility Questionnaire.
New state law calls for measure of global warming over 20 years
A bill seeking to better understand and reverse the effects of climate change was signed into law by the Gov. Murphy on Monday, taking effect immediately. The legislation requires New Jersey’s state agencies to use a 20-year time horizon, versus the 100-year time horizon, to calculate the ‘global warming potential’ and environmental impact of greenhouse gases.
Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson) was a sponsor of the bill.
“The science is clear: climate change is real, serious and can potentially do irreversible damage to the planet and its inhabitants, including us,” Mukherji said. “With this fact established, we must take every step necessary to protect the well-being of the only planet we call home. By switching from a 100-year time horizon to a 20-year time horizon, we will be able to more accurately represent the short-term effects of greenhouse gases on the environment, and prevent these short-term effects from becoming long-term.”
Man suspected of allegedly stealing packages at Silk Lofts apprehended
Usman Yousaf, 24, was arrested on Jan. 14, 2020 in connection with an alleged burglary that took place at Silk Lofts. The package incident was first reported at 154 Avenue E in November of 2019.
Lt. Eric Amato of the Bayonne Police Department said officers took Yousaf into custody around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 14. Yousaf is suspected of the burglary during which several residents of the building reported their packages stolen from the mail room.
Yousaf allegedly entered the building, gained entry into the package room, and removed several packages before exiting the building, authorities said. Yousaf also had other outstanding warrants for his arrest in Secaucus and Jersey City.