A West New York contractor who owns a construction company in town, who also ran the West New York Future Vision Super PAC, is negotiating a plea deal with the federal government for charges of allegedly bribing a town fire official to abate $8.75 million in building fines.
Victor Coca, 49, initially pleaded not guilty to bribery charges, as well as for violating the Travel Act – for allegedly discussing the bribes at a restaurant (a place of commerce) when he was before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas on December 22.
However, according to court papers dated March 17 obtained by Hudson County View, Coca was granted a continuance for several reasons.
One says that “the discovery involves numerous audio and video recordings, in Spanish,” while another says that “plea negotiations are currently in progress, and both the United States and the defendant desire additional time to negotiate a plea agreement.”
Coca has switched attorneys since December, as he was previously represented by Union City’s Zak Aljaludi, but has since retained Nelson Gonzalez, of Dover. Furthermore, “a case management conference” was scheduled for April 6 and the trial was initially set to be continued for June 1.
Back in October, in an interview with Hudson County View, now-West New York United commissioner candidate Carlos Betancourt, and former prominent North Hudson developer Rolando Cribeiro – who finished serving a jail sentence for bribery back in July – said that Mayor Felix Roque has stronger ties to Coca than he has led on.
Town spokesman Pablo Fonseca responded at the time by stating Roque was invited to the Super PAC event last February as simply a guest speaker, noting that it is really more of a non-profit organization than a Super PAC.
Gonzalez could not immediately be reached for comment.