Corruption Case Against Senator Menendez Ends in Mistrial

NEWARK — The federal corruption trial of Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey ended in a mistrial on Thursday after jurors said they were unable to reach a verdict, leaving Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, free to return to Congress but injecting uncertainty as he faces re-election next year and his party faces a difficult battle to retake the Senate.

After interviewing jurors individually in his chambers, Judge William H. Walls emerged to tell the court that, after nine weeks of testimony, the jury was deadlocked and that, as a result, “there is no alternative but to declare a mistrial.”

One juror told reporters that 10 of the 12 jurors supported finding Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, not guilty, saying that prosecutors had not made the case that the favors and gifts exchanged between the senator and a wealthy eye doctor went beyond what good friends do for each other.

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In Reversal, Immigration Agency Will Consider Delayed DACA Requests

After nearly 100 applications to renew permits that let immigrants stay and work in the United States legally were rejected because they had been delayed in the mail, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency last week said nothing could be done; the decisions were final.

But on Wednesday night, the agency reversed its position. In light of the delays, it agreed to allow those rejected because of mail delays to resubmit their renewals for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The Department of Homeland Security’s acting director, Elaine C. Duke, told the immigration agency to allow applicants to resubmit their paperwork if they have proof that they mailed their renewal in a timely manner and that the reason it missed the Oct. 5 deadline was because of Postal Service mail delays. Homeland Security issued the guideline in a statement Wednesday night.

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Another Round of Repairs for Penn Station NYC Will Mean More Schedule Changes

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Craig Coughlin: Low-Profile Legislator Taking Prieto’s Place as Assembly Speaker

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Murphy Names Transition Team, Signals His Priorities

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Fearful of Politicization by a Big Law Firm Type, Rice Wants Murphy to Pick Democratic Primary Rival Johnson for AG

By Max Pizarro | November 11, 2017

Insider NJ

 

Veteran state Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-28) wants Governor-elect Phil Murphy to consider former Assistant U.S. Attorney General Jim Johnson, whom Murphy defeated in the 2017 Democratic Primary for Governor, for the office of state Attorney General.

“I think it would be great if he were considered,” Rice told InsiderNJ, in reference to Jonhson, a resident of Montclair in Essex County. “If you want to talk about laying down resumes,  no one’s going to match him. His experience in the White House gave him an entrée into relationships as well as to issues. The relationships Murphy has at the White House too – between two of them, they have contacts that will be great for the state.”

Rice too mentioned the leg up he believes Johnsons would have on economics and civil rights issues.

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Oliver Named Department of Community Affairs Commissioner

By Alyana Alfaro7

Observer

Lieutenant Governor-elect Sheila Oliver.

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Lieutenant Governor-elect Sheila Oliver will lead the Department of Community Affairs in the coming Murphy administration, the transition team announced Thursday.

It’s the first cabinet appointment Governor-elect Phil Murphy, a Democrat, has made since winning election Tuesday night. New Jersey’s constitution requires that the lieutenant governor take on a cabinet position, head a major agency, or assume some of the powers of the governor’s office.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the Republican who lost to Murphy in Tuesday’s election, served as the head of the Department of State. Guadagno is the first lieutenant governor in state history. The DCA job involves more policy work, overseeing services for local governments, housing code enforcement, fire safety and a mortgage finance agency, among other areas.

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New Jersey’s Next Governor: A Rich Donor With Progressive Roots

ASBURY PARK, N.J. — Philip Dunton Murphy bounded onto the stage here in early November amid rapturous cheers, though they were not all for him. His good friend, Jon Bon Jovi, had just blitzed through a three-song set, mixed with a brief endorsement of Mr. Murphy spoken over the chords of “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.”

For Mr. Murphy, it was a note-perfect moment: irrefutable testimony of his New Jersey bona fides and of his progressive, working-class roots from a native son revered as a balladeer of the New Jersey working stiff.

But over more than 500 days of relentless campaigning, such moments did not always come easily or naturally for Mr. Murphy, whose setting for much of his professional life has been rarefied corporate boardrooms and ornate European salons rather than rowdy campaign scenes.

 

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Phil Murphy Is Elected Governor of New Jersey, in a Lift for Democrats

ASBURY PARK, N.J. — New Jersey became the seventh state in the country where Democrats now control the legislative and executive branches with the election on Tuesday of Philip D. Murphy, a former Wall Street banker with no experience in office, as its 56th governor, according to The Associated Press.

The decisive victory by Mr. Murphy, who transformed himself from a Goldman Sachs executive into a progressive Democrat to match the direction of an anxious political party, gives Democrats a badly needed lift and a governor who has vowed to make his state a bulwark against the policies of President Trump.

Mr. Murphy’s ascendancy also brings an emphatic end to the tumultuous eight-year reign of Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who was once considered a viable contender for the White House but who leaves office as one of the country’s least popular governors.

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In Menendez Corruption Trial, Both Sides Make Their Final Cases

NEWARK — After two months of testimony that centered on whether their long friendship had crossed a legal line, jury deliberations began Monday afternoon in the federal corruption trial of Senator Robert Menendez and his co-defendant, Dr. Salomon Melgen, a wealthy eye doctor and political donor from Florida.

In his closing argument before jurors retreated to consider the two men’s fates, Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Mr. Menendez, sought to poke holes in the prosecution’s case, asking jurors in a federal courtroom here to imagine themselves being found guilty based on the kind of evidence leveled against his client.

“You wouldn’t like it, and that’s for a good reason — that’s because it’s not what proof beyond a reasonable doubt requires,” Mr. Lowell said. “You would have a right to be mad.”

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