A federal grand jury indicted former Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith (D-Jersey City) on five counts of extortion, accepting corrupt payments and money laundering for allegedly taking $15,000 in bribes from an FBI informant, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today.
The indictment alleges that Smith, then a candidate for Jersey City mayor, took a $5,000 bribe from informant Solomon Dwek through Edward Cheatam, another corruption case defendant, in exchange for help with purported real estate developments and converted it into contributions to his campaign account.
Smith allegedly made calls on behalf of Dwek and told him that he could “get the ball rolling” with the Department of Environmental Protection on environmental issues at a purported Garfield Avenue development site in Jersey City.
At a July meeting, which took place two months after Smith placed third in the mayoral election, Dwek told Smith he was “generous.”
“[a]ccording to your standards you’re generous,” the indictment quotes Smith as answering him.
After the meeting, the indictment says that Dwek gave Smith another $10,000 to help his development projects during his waning days as an assemblyman.
“Harvey, I don’t want you to call me a cheap skunk anymore,” Dwek told Smith.
Smith remained in the assembly until January, though he was stripped of pay, benefits and his committee assignments and did not show up to any sessions after his arrest. He is a former Jersey City council president and acting mayor.