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City Budget: Mayor introduces $57.3M budget Is likely to include layoffs; tax rate stable

At a brief meeting of the Hoboken City Council Tuesday, the city's governing body voted to introduce Mayor David Roberts' $57.3 million 2003 to 2004 municipal budget.

The mayor's preliminary budget is significantly lower than the $62.8 million spending plan that was approved for the 2002-to-2003 fiscal year, which had been a big increase over the previous year. The new budget also is a couple of hundred thousand dollars less than Roberts' first budget in 2001.

Menendez: County has problems with bid 'solution'

It's supposed to be an innovative addition to the way government contracts are awarded, but Hudson County's first attempt at using it has run afoul of politics.

It's called competitive contracting, and it falls in between the awarding of no-bid contracts and conventional bidding, under which contracts are supposed to be awarded to the low bidder, even if another firm might provide better overall value despite a higher price.

City Budget: Mayor to present $55M bond issue; says layoffs are coming, but so is money for parks

BUSY LOBBYING - Mayor David Roberts is preparing to present a $55 million bond resolution before the City Council.  

In what is shaping up to be a defining moment in Mayor David Roberts' administration, he will likely present a $55 million bond resolution to the Hoboken City Council in the near future, but passage of it hinges on one vote.

Nidia calls it quits Convicted longtime freeholder's resignation effective July 7

Hudson County Freeholder Nidia Davila-Colon announced her resignation yesterday, three days after her conviction in federal court for her role in a 1999 bribery scheme.

In a letter dated Wednesday and sent to the clerk of the freeholders and other county officials, Davila-Colon, 49, the longest-serving member of the board, said her "reputation has been tarnished to a point that the damage is irreparable."

"The road is extremely difficult for me," she wrote. "But I take full responsibility for my actions . There is no better way to phrase it than to say, I'm sorry."

Chronology of events leading up to Davila-Colon's conviction

Chronology of events leading up to Davila-Colon's conviction

Sept. 6, 2001
Hudson County Executive Robert Janiszewski abruptly resigns after 13 years at the helm of county government and disappears. It's later revealed that he had agreed to cooperate with prosecutors after getting caught taking money from a county vendor who was secretly working for the FBI as part of an undercover operation to catch corrupt politicians in Hudson County.

Oct. 18, 2001
Dr. Oscar Sandoval, a Union City psychiatrist who held more than $2 million in contracts to provide psychiatric services to county facilities, denies reports that he was the vendor who was working with the FBI to catch Janiszewski - but it's later revealed that he is.

Jury convicts longtime freeholder on all 5 counts in bribery case Hudson prosecutor to seek Davila-Colon's quick removal

NEWARK - Hudson County Freeholder Nidia Davila-Colon was found guilty in federal court yesterday for her role in a 1999 bribery scheme involving then-County Executive Robert Janiszewski.

After deliberating roughly 10 hours over three days, the jury of five men and seven women filed into U.S. District Judge William G. Bassler's court just after 11:30 a.m. yesterday and returned its verdict, the foreman repeating "guilty" after each of the three mail fraud and two aiding and abetting attempted extortion charges Davila-Colon faced.

The seven-term freeholder from Jersey City will be sentenced by Bassler on Sept. 29.

Most Hudson County politicians are mum on verdict

Reaction in the local political community to Hudson County Freeholder Nidia Davila-Colon's conviction was muted.

Many of those who were asked for comment declined, among them U.S. Rep. Robert Menendez, D-Hoboken, and Jersey City Mayor Glenn D. Cunningham, leaders of the rival Democratic factions in Hudson County. Davila-Colon is a former Menendez staffer and Cunningham is a former county director.

There also was no comment on the verdict from Freeholder Chairman Sal Vega of West New York, nor from Sen. Bernard Kenny, D-Hoboken, the county Democratic chairman. Several of Davila-Colon's freeholder colleagues also declined to comment.

Ex-Paterson mayor gets 37-month term. His apparent lack of remorse in corruption case stuns courtroom

The evidence against Marty Barnes included tape recordings by a cooperating contractor, photos of Barnes frolicking with prostitutes at a Brazil resort and a paper trail showing kickbacks, clothes, trips, furniture, even a new pool and a waterfall.

But Barnes, the once-defiant and reform-minded Paterson mayor, wasn't exactly contrite as he stood yesterday for sentencing in federal court.

Instead, he blamed the rigors of his job.

Barnes told a judge that the hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks and illegal gifts occurred because he had become "bogged down" trying to run New Jersey's third-largest city.

"I probably didn't pay as much attention to other things that I should have," Barnes told U.S. District Judge William Bassler, in a brief and seemingly off-the-cuff statement. "For that, I'm truly sorry."

Bost admits witness tampering, ends trial Irvington ex-mayor could face up to 10 years in prison

The federal government's year-long effort to convict former Irvington Mayor Sara Bost ended yesterday with her guilty plea to a single count of witness tampering.

Bost was charged in a five-count indictment alleging she accepted bribes and tampered with a witness. She ended her nearly month-old trial by admitting before U.S. District Judge Joseph Greenaway Jr. in Newark that four years ago, she tried to get former Irvington business administrator David Fuller to lie to federal investigators probing a paving contract at the town's Chris Gatling Recreation Center.

Bribes, Payoffs, Politics: Campaign Finance Abuse Complaint Letter to FEC

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter serves as formal notice to the Federal Election Committee (“FEC”) that New Jersey’s 13th District Congressman, Robert “Bob” Menendez (“Mr. Menendez”) is in direct violation of 11CFR Part 300, Subpart D, “Candidates and Officeholders/” BCRA places limits on the amounts and types of funds that can be raised by Federal candidates and Officeholders for both Federal and State candidates (See 2 USC 444 I (e)). The regulations that address these limitations are found in 11 CFR, Part 300 Subpart D (“Code”).