After the former deputy mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey, was convicted on some corruption charges broken in part by informant Solomon Dwek but exonerated on several other, more serious charges, some are raising questions about prosecutors’ reliance upon Dwek, the Syrian-Jewish scion who turned on many in his community by cooperating with the FBI.
A jury acquitted the former deputy mayor, Leona Beldini, of charges that derived from Dwek’s testimony, even while finding her guilty of other charges that seem to derive, also, from that testimony. It’s a bit of a puzzling development, which at least one other defense attorney attributed to the jury’s reluctance to fully trust Dwek: “[Beldini] got convicted on the same counts she got acquitted on,” said the lawyer, who represents another public official implicated in the corruption scandal (and so, admittedly, has that axe to grind). “The main thing I would take away is that the government is on tenuous ground by the way they conducted this investigation and by putting all their eggs in one basket.”
Beldini’s defense strategy was in part to question Dwek’s integrity as a witness, based, among other things, on his plea bargain related to an alleged $50 million bank fraud. Guessed another attorney representing yet another New Jersey public official who awaits a Dwek-related trial: “I think they’re going to lose one of these high-profile cases, and they’re going to lose it because of Dwek and because of the way the investigation was done.”
Dwek, the son of a prominent Deal, New Jersey, rabbi (who has since disowned him), helped net indictments of 44 individuals, including the Syrian Jewish community’s chief rabbi and numerous north Jersey elected officials.
Earlier: Did Dwek Get a Good Deal?