Is Michael Russo a FBI Snitch or just misunderstood?
Yesterday’s story created quite a stir generating dozens of comments with the surprising revelation of the incomplete information on the Russo for Hoboken campaign. The evidence of that information came to light after correspondence between Mayor Zimmer and the Old Guard City Council found its way over weeks into the Hudson Reporter letter section.
The correspondence initially shared privately escalated when MORTe (beth Mason, tim Occhipinti, michael Russo and TErry castellano) opted to use the letter as a political tool attacking the mayor. They sent the letter to the Hudson Reporter and Hoboken411, both reliable pro-Old Guard outlets.
The action backfired when the mayor crafted her rejoinder sending a letter for publication to the Hudson Reporter as well. A two week delay for “modifications” eventually saw that response published last weekend.
The gap in the transactions of the Russo for Hoboken account, specifically the deposits spans the same period in 2009 when FBI informant Solomon Dwek splashed federal cash all over New Jersey snaring dozens politicians and their numerous political operatives in the biggest corruption sting in state history.
MSV attempted to contact the Russo for Hoboken treasurer to ask questions about those deposits but came up empty. The phone number did not go to the treasurer but were directed to Michael Russo.
Who was the Russo for Hoboken campaign treasurer? None other than 2012 Move Forward campaign manager for the Raia backed BoE slate and son of Councilwoman Terry Castellano, John Castellano.
|John Castellano (second from left) as Frank “Pupie” Raia holds court with a group outside a City Council meeting back in 2011. John Castellano is the son of Councilwoman Terry Castellano and was the treasurer for the Russo for Hoboken campaign in 2009 during the time of the FBI sting with informant Solomon Dwek.|
NJ ELEC is undertaking an investigation into the Russo for Hoboken missing campaign reports. Those investigations typically run more than a year so it’s uncertain when any conclusive information may be available, if any, on the deposits into the account.
Councilman Michael Russo has not responded to MSV’s voicemail and has not voiced to this point we know any interest in sharing the complete bank transactions of the Russo for Hoboken campaign. He’s offered to show expenditures via cancelled checks to the Hudson Reporter.
The Hudson Reporter completely missed the story and the importance of the Russo for Hoboken campaign’s deposits covering the timeline when FBI informant Solomon Dwek was active. Dwek would attempt to snare multiple Hoboken elected officials. He had a third party believed to be Denis Jaslow phone the home of then Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer. A request for a meeting was rebuffed.
Dwek succeeded in holding meetings with council members Beth Mason and Michael Russo as well as then mayoral candidate Peter Cammarano leading into its heated 2009 mayoral race.
Until the missing Russo for Hoboken campaign’s campaign information came to light, the party line was Michael Russo had not “returned” for the money when he agreed to a $5,000 bribe to move forward (pardon the pun) Dwek’s phony development project in Hoboken.
In the seminal book, “the Jersey Sting” on the NJ corruption scandal called Operation Bid Rig III, Dwek reportedly asks what happened to Michael Russo after their lunch meeting.
Not everyone believed it.
|During a recent City Council meeting, Councilman Michael Russo
sees MSV snapping his return and smiles.
Talking Ed Note: Of all the comments yesterday, this one captured our attention. We don’t know who the commenter is and even if we did, we wouldn’t say.
(MSV’s commenting system does not require registration and we maintain no systematic collection so we have no data and none to give.)