Public information indicates that a former Jersey City tax appeals attorney is the cooperating witness that led to charges being filed against five former candidates or public officials between Hudson and Morris Counties.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Matthew O’Donnell, a tax attorney for O’Donnell McCord and former Mt. Arlington borough counsel, served as an outside attorney for the City of Jersey City between October 2013 and March 2018.
He also was one of six members of Mayor Steven Fulop’s legal review transition team back in mid-2013, shortly after he was elected to his first term.
According to council minutes from Mt. Arlington, O’Donnell was borough counsel in 2018. NJ Globe was the first outlet to identify him and HCV has since independently confirmed their report.
Earlier today, the AG’s office announced that Jersey City Board of Education President Sudhan Thomas, ex-Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell, former Morris County Freeholder John Cesaro, a former Morris County Freeholder, ex-Mt. Arlington Councilman John Windish, and Mary Dougherty, a former Morris County Freeholder candidate, had all been charged with accepting cash bribes.
In the allegations made against Windish, accused of accepting a $7,000 bribe, authorities said that he “allegedly promised that he would support the reappointment of the cooperating witness as borough attorney.”
Hudson County sources further confirmed that Matt O’Donnell was the one who had recorded conversations with Thomas and Jason O’Donnell (no relation) on behalf of the AG’s office.
A spokesman for the AG’s office declined to comment, while Matthew O’Donnell did not immediately return a call or email seeking comment.