Another One Bites The Dust
Another elected official carted away in 2009’s Operation Bid Rig is sentenced to prison.
Former Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell, 66, was given 30 months for taking a bribe in exchange for using his influence to push through development approvals for an undercover government informant.
Shunning the route that many other elected and appointed officials took, including former Ocean County Assemblyman Dan Van Pelt, Elwell took his chances at trial. He was convicted last July.
“Corrupt public officials betray and unfairly tarnish all of us who live and work in this
state,” said U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman in a statement. “Despite his obligations to the people of Secaucus as their mayor, Dennis Elwell took $10,000 in cash to play favorites. It is tragic when someone who clearly understands the rewards and responsibilities of public service trades his principles for private gain.”
Prosecutors demonstrated that Elwell had obtained the cash from one of two go-betweens, both of whom pleaded guilty before his case reached court. At trial, Elwell told jurors that he never spent the money, but hid it in his house.
Elwell is also required to serve a year of supervised release, forfeit the $10,000 he received, and pay a $10,000 fine as well.