Former Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt (R-Ocean Twp.) was indicted today for accepting a $10,000 bribe. He was arrested on July 23 and resigned soon after. His arraignment has not been scheduled.
Van Pelt allegedly met with a cooperating witness, widely believed to be Solomon Dwek, on February 11 at a Waretown restaurant. He is accused of promising to help with development approvals with the state Department of Environmental Protection on Coastal Area Facilities Act (CAFRA) permits.
"You should hire me as a consultant," federal prosecutors say that Van Pelt told the witness, boasting that he had relationships with state officials that pre-dated his election to the Legislature. Van Pelt is a former mayor and served as the Lumberton Township Administrator.
The Indictment charges Van Pelt with one count of attempted extortion, which carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; and one count of accepting corrupt payments in connection with a business or transaction or series of transactions with the State of New Jersey, an entity receiving more than $10,000 in federal funds during a specified one-year period, which carries a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Lori Serrano, a former Jersey City Council candidate, was indicted today.