NJ Politics Digest: Melgen Attorney Threatened Government Officials, Witness Says

Salomon Melgen. Kena Betancur/Getty Images

An attorney for Salomon Melgen, the wealthy Florida eye doctor accused of bribing Sen. Bob Menendez, threatened to use Melgen’s political connections to “cause a lot of problems” if a government agency didn’t help resolve a contract dispute, a Commerce Department official testified Monday, according to reports.

The official, Scott Smith, told jurors he thought the comment referred to Menendez, according to the Associated Press. Federal prosecutors argue Menendez used his influence to advance Melgen’s interests in exchange for gifts, trips and campaign contributions.

A whopping 84 percent of New Jersey likely voters think Menendez should resign if he’s convicted at his corruption trial, according to a new Suffolk University/USA Today Network poll. The survey also showed that Democrat Phil Murphy maintains a wide lead over Republican Kim Guadagno in the New Jersey governor’s race.

And a New Jersey fundraiser for the Democratic Governors Association was expected to raise at least $450,000 on Monday. The event was a collaboration between Murphy and South Jersey power broker George Norcross.

Quote of the Day: “I became mayor under this dark cloud, but I’m going to make sure the light shines out. Something good is going to come out of this.” — Paterson Interim Mayor Ruby Cotton after Joey Torres resigned on Monday.

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NJ Politics Digest: Melgen Attorney Threatened Government Officials, Witness Says