Theft of services charge dropped against Vas

Former Perth Amboy Mayor Joe Vas is the latest pol to see theft of honest services charges dropped in the state’s case against him.

But unlike former Bergen county Democratic boss Joe Ferriero, who saw all charges against him dropped, Vas still faces an additional 12 counts against him for misuse of city funds and money laundering.  The latter charges stem from his campaign for congress.  His trial is set to begin next month.

Former Vas aides Jeffrey Gumbs and Raymond Geneske were sentenced in June in connection with the case.  Gumbs received 364 days Middlesex County jail, while Geneske was sentenced to three years of probation.  Both Gumbs and Geneske are expected to testify against their former boss.

The honest services portion of the mail fraud statute – and several state and national cases charged under the statute – was dealt a blow in June when the Supreme Court severely limited the scope of charges that can be brought under the provision.  Ferriero saw all counts against him dropped and is waiting to see if prosecutors will take another crack at him.