Ex-NJ assemblyman urges court to toss bribery charge

Ex-NJ assemblyman urges court to toss bribery charge

It was May 3, 2018, at Jason O’Donnell’s campaign headquarters on Broadway in Bayonne.

O’Donnell, a former state assemblyman, was running to become Bayonne’s mayor. He met with a New Jersey tax attorney who was secretly acting as a cooperating witness for state prosecutors, according to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

Prosecutors allege that the attorney previously told O’Donnell he wanted to be hired by Bayonne. At the O’Donnell campaign office, prosecutors say, the attorney handed O’Donnell $10,000 in cash in a Baskin-Robbins bag and the men had the following exchange:

“I just wanna be your tax guy,” the attorney said.

“Done,” O’Donnell said.

Now a judge will decide: Is that a bribe?

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s office says it is. Officials arrested O’Donnell, a Democrat, in December 2019 along with four others they claim took cash bribes from the same attorney.

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