Reminiscent of West New York Mayor Felix Roque, Jersey City family physician Dr. John Fritz was acquitted of commercial bribery last week.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Hudson County Superior Court Judge Mitzy Galis-Menendez dismissed the second degree commercial bribery charge against Fritz, 48, on Thursday, according to documents obtained by Hudson County View.
Specifically, the judgement of acquittal says that Fritz “was found not guilty at a non-jury trial,” meaning a jury was waived and Galis-Menendez made her decision after a bench trial.
Fritz, whose office is in Journal Square, was first tried on the case late last year, ultimately concluding with a hung jury on October 6.
Fritz was also initially charged with healthcare fraud and “knowingly acting as or using a runner,” but those charges were dismissed on September 13, 2016, the ruling says.
The same charges were tossed in a nearly identical fashion during Roque’s case.
Fritz was indicted just days before Roque in June 2015, with the state attorney general’s office accusing him of referring approximately 4,500 scans to medical imaging facilities controlled by Rehan Zuberi in exchange for approximately $500,000 in kickbacks between 2006 and 2013.
Zuberi was the state’s key witness in Roque’s case, claiming he bribed him twice at the mayor’s office, but his credibility took a hit when the defense brought out his lavish lifestyle and prior convictions.
Howard Brownstein, Fritz’s attorney in the matter, declined to comment beyond the judge’s ruling.