Menendez Probe

Some of you may find this Hudson County political story worthy of discussion.

From today’s Journal.

New subpoenas sent in Menendez probe

It was nearly a year ago, during the heat of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez’s election campaign, when federal investigators caused an uproar by issuing a subpoena for records of a real estate deal Menendez made.

robert menendez nj hudson county hoboken - Menendez ProbeThe investigation yielded no criminal charges, and by the start of summer Menendez’s attorneys asked federal prosecutors to declare him exonerated.

Not only was that request ignored, according to sources with knowledge of the meeting, but in recent weeks new subpoenas went out, delving into other matters involving the Hudson County Democrat.

Tom O’Neil, a spokesman for the Jersey City Medical Center, confirmed last week that the hospital has received two subpoenas from federal investigators. He said hospital officials were gathering documents to fully cooperate with authorities. He declined to disclose details.

The subpoenas, according to people familiar with the command, are for records regarding government-relations consulting contracts. The subpoenas were signed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Constable, the prosecutor spearheading the Menendez case. The subpoenas are related to that probe, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

Only a handful of lobbyists have worked for the hospital in recent years, and among them was Menendez’s former chief of staff, Kay LiCausi. She earned a total of $280,000 from the hospital from 2003 until her contract ended earlier this year, according to hospital officials.

Critics have previously raised questions about the senator’s relationship with his former aide because after LiCausi left his office, she quickly built a successful lobbying firm enlisting clients, such as the hospital, that rely on government funding.

LiCausi did not return calls for comment.

On Thursday, Jonathan Metsch, who served as president and chief executive of the Jersey City Medical Center when LiCausi worked for the hospital, testified before a grand jury, according to two sources familiar with the investigation. Metsch, who resigned last year, did not return a call for comment.

The latest developments indicate a new direction for the investigation, which began last year during the heated U.S. Senate campaign between Menendez and Republican state Sen. Tom Kean.

About two months before Election Day, federal investigators subpoenaed documents from the North Hudson Community Action Corp. regarding a Union City building that the nonprofit agency rented from Menendez between 1994 and 2003.

Menendez handily defeated Kean in November, but the investigation heated up afterward. In December, a grand jury heard testimony from the woman who purchased the building from Menendez and an official with North Hudson Community Action who was familiar with the lease.

Lawyers for both said last week that federal authorities were no longer asking them about that matter.

Last November, prosecutors also subpoenaed Danielle Leigh, Menendez’s former campaign fund-raiser, to appear before the grand jury. Leigh had abruptly quit Menendez’s campaign earlier in the year, before the investigation began.

Menendez has enlisted two prominent criminal defense attorneys: Marc Elias and Alfred DeCotiis. Elias said last week: “We remain confident and hopeful that this entire matter will be brought to a conclusion and it will be clear to everyone that what we’ve said all along is true: Senator Menendez has acted ethically and lawfully in all of his dealings.”

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Monday, August 27, 2007 10:59 pm

In the last election, so many people nationwide voted out the republicans because they wanted to stick it to Bush. They did so without even considering if the democratic candidate was the right one for the job. Some republicans that were doing good jobs lost elections simply because people associated them with Bush. Voting that way just doesn’t make sense. As for Menendez–did you know he is for open borders and amnestying the 12-20 million illegals that are here? He also likes the idea of sanctuary cities (think Newark until the Attorney General recently intervened). The point is–it never makes sense to vote strictly along party lines. Look at the entire picture–do you agree with what the candidate has to say about issues that are important to you? If you disagree with anything s/he has to say, is it something that you can live with? After all, I’ve yet to find a candidate where I can say that I agree with everything s/he supports. So, in the end, it comes down to where s/he stands on the issues that are most important to me. Nor will I vote for anyone who has proven to be corrupt. Their party affiliation is not what matters–independent that I am. Just my two cents…

Monday, August 27, 2007 9:07 pm

I understand your response. You made a symbolic vote against Bush despite the fact that Bush isn’t running. That is about as sane as voting against men because you are a feminist and against blacks because you are a racist. You neither voted with the issues or used the slightest bit of rationality or reason in making your vote. You are a true independent……NOT!

Monday, August 27, 2007 8:37 pm

[quote comment=”41181″]Poorly. But I’d make the same choice if I had it to do over again.[/quote]
Dope. You sound like George Bush when you refuse to acknowledge that something was a bad idea.

I think Campos needs a job, you would probably vote for him against a Republican.

Monday, August 27, 2007 8:36 pm

beam- the point I was making was it sucks that you refuse to engage your brain before you pull the lever (or push the button as the case may be).

Voting for a criminal (for most any reason) is totally ridiculous.

Monday, August 27, 2007 7:46 pm

[quote comment=”41232″]It’s actually a shame that people like you can vote. Matt72 makes excellent points that your partisan self can not comprehend.[/quote]

Yeah, it really is a shame that people who don’t agree with you are allowed to vote.

Feel free to re-iterate matt_72’s points, so I can not respond to those too.

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