Former Hoboken Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia has received another postponement in his Newark bribery case, with a continuance granted yesterday through December 1st.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The continuance, granted by U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo, is “to permit defense counsel the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation in this matter and to allow the parties to continue plea negotiations.”
The judge also noted that Garcia has a right to have this matter brought to trial within 70 days of the filing date.
The case has been delayed over a dozen times thus far, at least in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Garcia has received eight continuances since the beginning of 2022.
Garcia, also the former director of the Newark Department of Economic and Housing Development, is accused by federal prosecutors of soliciting corrupt payments in exchange for helping businessmen acquire and redevelop properties.
He was charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the city of Newark and the NCEDC of Garcia’s honest services facilitated by the use of interstate wire transmissions; 17 counts of honest services wire fraud; and four counts of use of interstate facilities to promote and facilitate bribery in violation of the Travel Act.
Two Newark businessmen face the same charges, while Garcia is also accused of three counts of receiving bribes in connection with the business of a federally funded local government and organization.
He is being represented by Robert G. Stahl, of Stahl Criminal Defense Lawyers, with offices in Westfield and New York City.
Garcia was indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark in October 2021 and he pleaded not guilty the following month. Since then, he has participated in motivational speaker gigs, as only HCV reported.
A former housing authority executive director in Hoboken and Irvington, Garcia served a two-year term as a state assemblyman between 2014 and 2015 after running on the Hudson County Democratic Organization line in 2013.
He choose not to seek re-election off the line and instead unsuccessfully sought the Hoboken 6th Ward council seat in November 2015.