Former Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell was indicted today on federal charges of taking $10,000 in bribes in exchange for help with development approvals.
Elwell, who resigned shortly after his July 23 arrest, allegedly promised to expedite development projects for Solomon Dwek – a government cooperating witness posing as a developer under an assumed name – in exchange for the money.
Also indicted was Ronald Manzo, brother of former Assemblyman and five-time Jersey City mayoral candidate Louis Manzo. Ronald Manzo, who is charged with taking $5,000 to facilitate the relationship between Elwell and Dwek, was indicted last month along with his brother on separate corruption charges.
According to the indictment, Dwek gave Elwell – through Manzo — $10,000 and promised another $10,000 after the June 2 primary.
“Don’t treat me like an opponent. Don’t treat me like an enemy. Treat me like a friend and help me. Just support my stuff. Expedite my applications. That’s all,” the indictment quotes Dwek as telling Elwell at a Hoboken diner.
Elwell, the indictment contends, “nodded his head affirmatively in response.”
Also named in the indictment is Edward Cheatam, a former Jersey City official and board of education member who was at the diner with the men. Cheatam pleaded guilty in September to corruption charges.