Mike Russo ‘Whoever says I agreed to the bribe is lying’ – Jersey Sting authors stand by story

Mike Russo who has been silent on the matter of his meeting with the FBI’s star witness in Operation Bid Rig that netted dozens of NJ politicians including his former campaign manager and ex-mayor Peter Cammarano back in 2009, finally went on the record with the Hudson Reporter and Hoboken Patch. 

Just discovered: FBI informant Solomon Dwek met 
with Councilman Mike Russo in Jersey City in 2009

Russo describes his meeting with Solomon Dwek, the informant who’s testimony led to convictions of other politicians in New Jersey differently than as described in the Jersey Sting – a book by Pultizer winning authors who claim he had agreed to a bribe but later failed to collect on an initial $5,000 payout.

In the Hudson Reporter, the 3rd ward Councilman stated, “What’s not excerpted in the book is that I made it very clear to Mr. Dwek that I would not accept cash contributions, and there was no quid pro quo.  No bribe was discussed.”

In Hoboken Patch, Russo said, “Anyone who portrays that (a bribe) is lying.”

But the book’s author’s, Josh Margolin and Ted Sherman refused to back down from its claim Russo had agreed to the bribe.  In an email statement Monday afternoon they wrote, “First, during the course of our research for The Jersey Sting, we made every effort to give the councilman the opportunity to explain what transpired between him and Solomon Dwek. The councilman chose not to.”

“Surveillance recordings we obtained during our research for The Jersey Sting, clearly show Mr. Russo met with Mr. Dwek, and that Mr. Dwek expected to meet again with Mr. Russo.  Mr. Dwek, on other recordings we obtained, articulated his surprise—as noted in the book–at the fact that Mr. Russo discontinued his association with Mr. Dwek without explanation.”

Councilman Russo has not commented on why he did not report the incident to the authorities.  A voicemail was left for Councilman Russo, should he reply; the story will be updated.

Talking Ed Note: The award winning authors of the Jersey Sting, Josh Margolin and Ted Sherman will be appearing this Wednesday at the Malibu Diner 3:30-5:00 pm.

Malibu Diner photo – courtesy the Hoboken Journal

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