‘I like Dr. Roque:’ Witness testifies she was hesitant to talk to AG about WNY mayor

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Judith DeLeon, the former manager of the American Imaging center in Hackensack, testified that she was initially hesitant to talk to authorities about West New York Mayor Felix Roque, stating “I like Dr. Roque.”

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2Zixtzmp_s&feature=youtu.be[/fve]

“Was defendant Roque someone that you told the state about at your first meeting?,” questioned Deputy Attorney General Crystal Callahan.

“No,” DeLeon responded, who previously stated that she met with the state attorney general’s office in October, November and December of 2015, as well as January of 2016.

“Why not?,” Callahan continued.

“Because I like Dr. Roque … I like Dr. Roque,” DeLeon answered, later getting emotional and holding back tears when she confirmed she talked to law enforcement about Roque when she was asked during her third meeting with them.

DeLeon added that it was routine for Roque to call the office to speak to her or Zuberi, noting that “it was just normal” and she never gave it a second thought.

The former manager of American Imaging in Hackensack, DeLeon also testified that she cashed over 20 checks for Rehan Zuberi and Humara Paracha during a three-year period.

Along with her employers, DeLeon was arrested in June 2014 and charged with money laundering. She was sentenced to, and has since completed, a pre-trial intervention program as part of her plea deal with the government.

She added that “in the beginning,” Roque was sending a lot of referrals to American Imaging, but said that changed around 2012 or 2013.

Witnesses have been instructed not to reference Roque’s federal hacking case, where he was arrested in 2012 and acquitted in 2013, a topic that has caused delays during testimony throughout the trial.

Under cross-examination from Roque’s co-counsel in the matter, John MacDonald, made it known that DeLeon never gave Dr. Roque any money, later contradicting testimony from Humara Paracha – Rehan Zuberi’s wife.

DeLeon testified that while employees from American Imaging reserved tables at political fundraisers for Roque, Zuberi never actually paid for the tables.

On Thursday, Paracha said under oath that she and her husband had purchased $5,000 tables at a handful of fundraisers for Roque, however, she could not recall any of the dates when these alleged contributions were made.