Louis Manzo, a former assemblyman and five-time unsuccessful candidate for Jersey City mayor who was arrested on corruption charges in July, has been ordered by show up o civil court on Wednesday, where he has been subpoenaed to testify.
The trial is the latest manifestation of a two-year dispute between Manzo and Dannielle Leigh, a fundraiser for his failed 2007 bid for state senate. Leigh claims that Manzo owes her $23,000.
In August, an arbitrator ruled that Manzo owed Leigh the money, but he appealed.
Manzo, 54, was indicted along with his brother Ronald for allegedly accepting $27,500 in bribes from an FBI informant posing as a crooked developer last year in exchange for “insurance” in case he won the May, 2009 mayoral election. Both of the Manzo brothers have pleaded not guilty.
“To me it seems crazy that a criminal defense attorney would allow this to happen,” said Leigh about the prospect of Manzo testifying. “They’ve played the delay game really, really well, but this I don’t see how they’re going to get out of.”
The testimony is scheduled to take place at 9:30am Wednesday at the William J. Brennan, Jr. Courthouse in Jersey City, although Manzo attorney Libero Marotta said that it is not certain that a trial will actually occur that day.
“In the civil courts, you have a daily call. When you get a notice to go for trial, there could be as many as 15 or 20 cases on the same day. It depends where you are on the list and whether any judges are free,” he said.
Marotta said he looks forward to putting Leigh on the witness stand.
“If this gets reached for trial I can’t wait until she gets on the witness stand,” he said. “We’ll let her talk under oath, not to newspapers, but under oath, and then we’ll see what she has to say.”