A group of rabbis were among the 30 or so people arrested in New Jersey with two mayors in a major corruption probe. Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano III (left) and Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell (right) were among those arrested in what is described as a “high-volume, international money-laundering conspiracy” where the rabbis used their their religious organizations to launder the money. There are also allegations of cash-filled envelopes going to politicians in garden-variety corruption claims.
In addition to Cammarano and Elwell, the arrested included New Jersey Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt and Leona Beldini, a Jersey City deputy mayor. Cammarano was only elected in June and sworn into office on July 1st. If found guilty, he may hold the record for a New Jersey mayor arrested on corruption charges. Ironically, he ran on a promise to lower taxes and fight crime but money laundering was not one of the suggested reforms.
The rabbis come from Syrian Jewish communities of Deal on New Jersey’s northern shore and in Brooklyn, New York.
Here is Cammarano’s bio:
The Honorable Peter J. Cammarano III was elected the 37th mayor of the City of Hoboken on June 9th 2009. His inauguration took place on July 1st, 2009.
Peter J. Cammarano III was born on July 22, 1977, in Wayne, New Jersey. After graduating cum laude from Boston University in 1999 with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in History, Cammarano settled in Hoboken and attended Seton Hall Law School. During law school, Peter worked on the Gore-Lieberman 2000 presidential campaign, attended the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, and was a speechwriter and legislative aide to State Senator Garry J. Furnari (D-36). Upon graduation from law school in 2002, he was admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of New Jersey and New York. Shortly thereafter, Peter published one of the earliest law review articles to examine the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law (The Colorado Cases and Costly Campaigns: An Invitation to Reform, 26 Seton Hall Legis. J. 499), and accurately predicted the U.S. Supreme Court’s treatment of the law.
Here is Elwell’s bio:
Mayor Dennis Elwell has served Secaucus for more than two decades as mayor and a member of the Town Council. Secaucus has enjoyed historic tax stability under Mayor Elwell going 8 years without a municipal tax increase. The Secaucus Home News has said this about the Mayor: “Mayor Dennis Elwell has brought vitality to the town that was lacking for many years, and his enthusiasm for his hometown is contagious.” Mayor Elwell is the president of a family-owned trucking company. He’s also a former Secaucus Board of Education member and a decorated Vietnam combat veteran.
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