"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Friday, January 27, 2006

The McGreevey, D'Amiano, Halper Saga

Before resigning as Governor of New Jersey in November 2004, Jim McGreevey acknowledged that he was "state official 1" referred to in an extortion, mail fraud and bribery indictment. The indictment was against Democrat fund-raiser David D'Amiano. The details of the indictment and the shakedown by officials can be read here.

The Halper family owned a farm that Piscataway (Middlesex County) was looking to take through eminent domain. The county offered Harper $3 million for the property, an amount the family believed to be far less than fair market value.

Then, David D'Amiano approached Halper and worked out a deal where the farmer would donate money to Democrats in return for assurances that elected officials would help get him a better price.

According to the indictment, D'Amiano arranged for government officials to mention the code word "Machiavelli" in their conversations with Halper to assure him that he was getting what he was promised. One state official and a county official spoke the code word to the farm owner in face-to-face meetings, according to the indictment. We now know the state official was then-Governor McGreevey.

Halper donated about $40,000 after a court ruled Middlesex County officials could seize his farm under eminent domain to prevent Halper from selling it to a developer. Once D'Amiano got involved and the donations were made, the government’s offer jumped to $7.4 million.

Harper said “it took a donation to the Democratic State Party and an FBI-supervised payoff to get officials to sit down and hammer out a reasonable offer."

Federal authorities played McGreevey tapes of his conversations with Halper and D'Amiano during an interview back in March 2004. At the time McGreevey said rumors that that he was "state official 1" mentioned in the indictment was essentially a smear campaign aimed at him by Republicans through U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie. We now know McGreevey was lying.

Yesterday, a Superior Court jury awarded the Halper’s nearly $18 million for the land, which was seized by the township of Piscataway in Middlesex County.

McGreevey was not charged in the indictment with D'Amiano, and still faces no charges in the continuing investigation. Why?



5 Comments:

At 7:37 PM, Anonymous Jim - PRS said...

It was a state indictment, and there is no way that McGreevey's Attorney General was moving against his boss.

Chris Christie, call your office.

 
At 9:35 PM, Blogger WjcW said...

Better than that was the fact the Freeholder David Creibel (not sure of the last name spelling, excuse me) kept swearing up and down that the freeholders had nothing to do with it. (I think he still claims complete ignorance of the deal). He was all up in arms because the indictment mentioned 'county officials (namely himself)' being involved. I for one find it hard to believe all this went on and got all the way up to the governor and the county freeholders were somehow unaware of the situation. Even before that, some ridiculous deal was worked out by the freeholders and Perth Amboy mayor Vas to buy land from Perth Amboy to preserve as open space even though everyone largely agreed the land was undevelopable in the first place.

 
At 9:48 PM, Blogger Mr. Apropos said...

Why?! Ummm, isn't that how politics are supposed to work in NJ? I think if anything else had happened, I'd be shocked. (shocked, I tell you!)

You can say one good thing about politicos in NJ: once they get bought, they tend to stay bought.

 
At 12:50 PM, Blogger njgalaxie73 said...

I agree. I'm not at all shocked the McGreevey slipped through the cracks. I'm pretty confident that this won't be the last crack he slips through either. I somehow get the impression that he enjoys slipping through cracks a great deal.

 
At 1:32 PM, Blogger Enlighten said...

NJGalaxie73,

Now, now enough of the wisecracks. ;-)

 

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