Sunday, March 27, 2011

Feds on Mike Russo: Agreed to $5,000 bribe with FBI informant Solomon Dwek


3rd ward Councilman Mike Russo who just submitted a questionable letter of achievements printed in the weekend's Hudson Reporter predicting there would be lies about him is named in a new book - the Jersey Sting.  The book details reveal Mike Russo's meeting with FBI informant and star witness Solomon Dwek in Jersey City's White Horse Tavern where bribes were discussed.

In the meeting Solomon Dwek who was working for the FBI and wired for sound, a discussion on $5,000 in bribe money is agreed upon:

from the book "The Jersey Sting"

Talking Ed Note:  The authors of the book note that "Mike Russo agreed," to take the $5,000 in bribe money but failed to collect.

Solomon Dwek is the same FBI informant who's testimony and wired meetings at the Malibu Diner led to the arrest and prison time of ex-mayor Peter Cammarano.  The ex-mayor was also the campaign manager for Mike Russo in his last City Council run.

MSV contacted Mike Russo several times to ask about his meeting with FBI informant Solomon Dwek and the $5,000 bribe discussed but he did not answer his phone and the mailbox did not allow a message to be left.  MSV would ask why Mike Russo did not report the information on the bribe solicited to the authorities.

A voicemail seeking comment from Councilwoman Beth Mason, a close ally of Mike Russo was left earlier.  Should a statement be made available, it will be added in this story.

Both Councilwoman Beth Mason and then councilwoman Dawn Zimmer were contacted by Solomon Dwek.  Neither agreed to discuss anything on zoning favors although Beth Mason did have a meeting that did not lead to any discussion of illegal bribes, unlike Mike Russo.

Correction: Solomon Dwek did not contact Dawn Zimmer or her campaign.  A middleman made a call and pitched a meeting saying a NY based developer was interested in setting up a discussion as Hoboken under a potential Zimmer Administration was viewed as not open for business.  The call went nowhere and neither side pursued the matter again.

This story is BREAKING....

Mike Russo goes politrickin in the Hudson Reporter

Here is a letter published in the weekend Hudson Reporter from 3rd ward Councilman Mike Russo:

Dear Editor:

I hope you’ll allow me an opportunity to discuss the upcoming City Council race in the 3rd Ward. As this campaign begins, it is clear that my opponent will be pulling out the same old playbook of lies and innuendo that has been used against me in the past with no success.

Here are a few facts. My surname is Russo. I am the son of a former mayor who went to prison for corruption. His last year in office was 2001. This is old news, but that won’t stop my opponent from bringing it up every chance he gets. I’m used to it by now, and the residents of the 3rd Ward have heard it all before.

Here are a few more facts my opponent has either forgotten or simply chooses to ignore.

I am the councilman who initiated the investigation that removed several individuals who were receiving city health benefits incorrectly. Mayor Zimmer, then a councilwoman, did nothing on this issue.

I am the councilman who first asked questions about close to a million dollars in missing income at the Parking Utility. It was the mayor’s office at the time that called the discrepancy “a mistake.” It was my questions that ultimately uncovered the missing funds.

I am the councilman who raised the alarm when the administration was considering moving the municipal garage to Jackson Street. The only reason the municipal garage wasn’t moved to Jackson Street is because we joined with 3rd Ward residents to stop it. These residents will be surprised to learn that my opponent calls their efforts “a lie.”

I am the councilman who took the political heat and held out for a promise of a 3rd Ward park to be included as part of the recent $20 million bond issue.

I am the councilman who has forced this administration to spend tax dollars conservatively, forcing municipal budget cuts that trim fat from the budget and focus spending on needed services. I chair the council committee that will present amendments to the municipal budget that will result in real tax relief for Hoboken.

I’m confident that the voters of the 3rd Ward will see through the lies my opponent will tell during this campaign. It’s one thing to attend a few City Council meetings for a few minutes and call yourself a concerned citizen. It’s quite another to actually do the important work that affects the lives of Hoboken residents. I challenge my opponent to tell 3rd Ward residents what exactly he has ever done for them.

Councilman Michael Russo

Talking Ed Note:  Mike Russo makes some interesting comments in this letter.  He claims he initiated an investigation into illegally paid health benefits.  Actually his charge which MSV showed in its entirety on video claimed over 90 people were illegally receiving those benefits.  It proved to be a handful.  But he doesn't and won't explain how his father, the former mayor and ex-con was put back on taxpayer paid health benefits after getting out of jail.  How did that happen Mike?  What did you know and when did you know it?

Mike Russo claims credit for uncovering almost a million in quarters missing in the Parking Utility.  But once he asked the question about the revenue, he ran away from the answer and refused to cooperate with other council members such as Councilman Peter Cunningham who wanted desperately to pursue the matter.  He fought tooth and nail to keep the Council from acting on a desire to tackle the issue in an audit.  He called THAT pursuit illegal and the revelation of the missing money incorrect and his "mistake."  

Why were you covering up the million dollar theft Mike Russo?

Mike Russo threw a grandstanding party on the Municipal Garage's temporary move, of this there is no doubt.  He spread rumors and undermined the search for a temporary location at every turn claiming the Pino's site was the location intended.  He had a bunch of real estate people help spread the rumor who held a financial interest in the 3rd ward.  In the end the City needed to negotiate the best option for a temporary garage location.  Mike Russo knew that and demanded that only one location be eliminated BEFORE negotiations were complete in choosing ANOTHER location.  In doing so, he may have also revealed confidential information discussed in private executive session.  Way to go Mike!

Mike Russo acted single-handedly to table the bond ordinance to give Hoboken more parks.  He acted similarly on each and every successive bond for open space and parks thereafter in a series of moves to eject the matter out of the City Council just a few weeks ago.  Now he claims he is a parks advocate after flip flopping from public pressure with the resulting publicity of his actions.

If you think Mike Russo "forced" the Administration to curb spending or provide tax relief in any shape or form, MSV has a bridge to sell you.  He did however vote along with his cousin 2nd ward Councilwoman Terry Castellano and Beth Mason to have Director Ian Sacs pay $1,000 in transportation costs for a professional transportation conference he was approved for in advance AFTER THE TRIP at a recent council meeting.

Last, if you think this will be the end of the serious questions surrounding Mike Russo, it won't.  Bet.

The Jersey Sting Comes back to Hoboken

Two star reporters with singular spectacular credentials for investigating New Jersey corruption released their book "The Jersey Sting," and will be paying a timely visit to Hoboken this Wednesday at the scene of one of the well known crime scenes: The Malibu.

Josh Margolin from the New York Post along with Ted Sherman of The Star-Ledger will be at the Malibu Diner for a book signing on Wednesday, March 30, from 3:30-5 p.m.

They have a new book out on the Solomon Dwek case called "The Jersey Sting: A true story of crooked pols, money-laundering rabbis, black market kidneys and the informant who brought it all down", and so far they have been pretty well received.

Their website is and they are on Facebook at

Here's an excerpt from the NY Post.

You can also see the first chapter if you go to Amazon where a download is available on computer and a number of other devices.

Photos of Solomon Dwek and an actual handoff of cash at the Malibu Diner are available at the author's facebook page:

Talking Ed Note: This book may be out but the story isn't over.

Peter Cunningham: new website & 700 paper ballots: 'You just don't understand Hoboken elections'

Dear Friends, Family and Neighbors,

Our official website is now up and running.  Please take a minute and check out and read about Lower taxes, Quality of Life and Economic Development.  These are three of the most important issues we face in Hoboken today.  This will be a hard fought race, and you can never have enough volunteers, so we will need your help to be successful. 

In the 5th ward, I will have three opponents squarely aligned with political powers with access to special interest money and independently wealthy individuals.  All three of my opponents supported the 4th Ward outcome in November 2010, and the other day one candidate went so far to tell me that 700 absentee ballots was "Ok" and that I didn't understand Hoboken elections.  

Hmmm...with that comment alone, we should be concerned that voter fraud could be wide spread - again this May and June.

Beware!  They are not independent as they will claim to be.

Please join our team for fiscal stability and lower taxes, good honest government and continued focus on quality of life issues.  We have so much more to accomplish, and hope you agree that we are moving Hoboken forward.  As always, please pass around, and let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  


New beta system to identify "Temporary No Parking" text service

City of Hoboken announces:


Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced the beta launch of new software that will allow residents the ability to check online or on their cell phones to see if they are parked in a temporary no parking area. The software is still undergoing additional testing.

“We're zeroing in on a solution to one of the most frustrating aspects of parking in Hoboken,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “By posting active and upcoming Temporary No Parking signs online in real-time, we’re moving towards ending the days of returning to your car only to discover it's been towed.”

The live Temporary No Parking map is available on the City website at

In addition, the new system will allow residents to text "parking" followed by a Hoboken address  (e.g.: parking 505 grand st) to 41411 to instantly receive notifications of temporary no parking rules scheduled or in effect for the immediate area. 

The software, designed to be useful to all residents, was developed by fivepm technology (formerly named ParkingMapper), the same company that developed the GPS tracking software for the City's Hop shuttle system (

“This map is a live link to our database, so residents can now see the location of Temporary No Parking signs days before they're actually posted on-street,” said Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs. “We’re asking residents to help us out by participating in the beta evaluation of the system as we tackle a very challenging project.”

Bug reports can be submitted to The software works best with Firefox and Safari web browsers. Residents are reminded that the information in this beta version is not guaranteed to be accurate, should be considered approximate only, and that they are still responsible for observing all posted signs and obeying all parking rules and regulations.

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