Was there a THIRD Dwek Meeting?

Last Friday, Lane (prosbus) Bajardi turned our attention back to the April 29, 2009 meeting between Mike Russo and FBI informant Solomon Dwek at the White Horse Tavern with this post:
I have watched that video and its clear to me that he (Russo) perceived it as a threatening situation and he simply "yes'ed" that undercover felon so he could escape from that environment as quickly and as safely as possible. He did the right thing in my opinion. He told that thug what he wanted to hear and he got out of there ASAP.
Was Bajardi right?  Did Russo feel threatened, 'yes' him then flee for his safety?

GA went back to the transcript to discover that this was Russo's SECOND meeting with lunch companions Maher Khalil and/or Denis Jaslow.  Russo said so himself with his statement:
"...as I was saying last week we met -- I'm very much pro-development."
So what's the big deal?

Khalil and Jaslow were arrested in the Bid Rig 3 sweep on July 23, 2009. 
  • Khalil pleaded guilty  for his own acceptance of bribes from Dwek and his role in facilitating bribes and illicit campaign contributions to other public officials and political figures.
  • Jaslow pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting, and offering a bribe to the then-mayor of Secaucus. He had participated in several recorded meetings and telephone calls with Dwek; at one he accepted a $5,000 cash payment to introduce Dwek to public officials willing to assist him in obtaining approvals for his purported real estate development projects in exchange for corrupt payments.
Like Russo?

GA is pretty sure they didn't bring him to the Light Horse for the appetizers.

Of course, you and I- and the authors of The Jersey Sting only know what the Feds have told 'us'.

We've only seen the tape the Feds have provided to them.  The Feds have complete control over the release of information, and with respect to an ongoing investigation like Bid Rig- started in 2002- GA's got a bridge to sell you if you think they'd give total access to anyone.

Some believe that Hoboken may be Ground Zero for Bid Rig 4.

The common wisdom is- as we've all been told- that Russo didn't 'collect' the $5,000 bribe he agreed to on April 29, 2009. It's been floated that he was warned by his parents that 'easy money' is often connected to the Feds.

Is that true?  Or is that the narrative the Feds wanted out there?

GA questions that narrative.
  • If Russo thought the Dwek deal was a set-up, and that the Feds were on a  'fishing expedition', then why didn't he warn Beth Mason who met with Dwek just 11 days later on May 10, 2009? 
  • Why didn't he warn Peter Cammarano, who met with Dwek 3 times after the May 12 election?
  • In short, if he thought the Feds were trying to entrap Hoboken politicos, how come he didn't give the candidates he supported in the mayoral race then the Run-off a heads-up?
This suggests to me that he wasn't scared off.

So what  really happened?

Who knows.

I'm not convinced there was a third meeting, and I'm not convinced there wasn't.

Unlike Bajardi, GA's not picking up a lot of fear in Russo's cagey dance with Dwek that day.  It seems he must have conferred with his parents going in, and knew what to expect.  So why not close the deal?

Unless he did.

What do you think?  Do you agree with Bajardi?

click on any image to read
Dwek tells Russo, "A friend that will help is a two-way street". Russo promises Dwek he'll always make sure his friends are heard "before anyone else"

Dwek says he wants to meet with Russo before his business is heard at the City Council, Russo says "Yeah". Cash is promised "whenever you need something- boom" 

Dwek promises $5,000 to Russo next week- the cash will be laundered through Maher Khalil.  Russo tells them the name of his account is "Russo for Hoboken".  Dwek says he'll meet with Khalil next week then you "work it out with him".

Dwek tells Russo how he wants his applications expedited, Russo says "I don't see any problems with that".Then Dwek promises to "hook up after the election" and "he'll do another five after".

So what do you think?  Was Russo scared off, or is there a lot more to this story?


  1. After his mea culpa at the council meeting I saw Michael in the hallway. He said "Scott I F'd up, I F'd up". Take that Lane.

  2. Scott, context is everything. His 'mea culpa' reads to me like 'my fault I couldn't carry through on the promises I made to people I took bribes from'


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