Menendez: Audio: Tape adds to Menendez ethics debate

The following conversation was tape recorded by Dr. Oscar Sandoval, a North Jersey psychiatrist and former FBI informant, with lawyer Donald Scarinci in early 1999.

In it, Scarinci tells Sandoval that then U.S. Rep. Robert Menendez, now a member of the U.S. Senate, wanted him to hire a psychiatrist named Vicente Ruiz. Sandoval said the conversation amounted to a veiled threat. The implication was that he might lose his county contracts if he did not go along.

He also tells Sandoval that Hudson County government will not increase payments to cover the new position.

In this excerpt, Scarinci tells Sandoval that Menendez would consider it a favor if he hired Ruiz.

Scarinci says he got involved in the matter at Menendez's request.

Scarinci tells Sandoval that hiring the doctor will afford "protection." Sandoval has said that Scarinci was implying that he could protect his contracts with Hudson County if he hired the doctor.

Listening notes: To listen to this clip, you'll need one of these media players installed on your computer:

(free download)

Windows Media Player
(free download)

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer  9/27/06

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