The attorney for former Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero said he expects tomorrow’s federal corruption trial to begin as planned, even though Dennis Oury admitted yesterday that he concealed his role in steering municipal grants to a company that he and Ferriero secretly owned. But will there be a trial, given the hammer Oury handed the government?
And if there is one, will Oury testify against his old buddy?
Technically, the once-powerful attorney already put the finger on Ferriero, telling a U.S. District Court judge in Newark this morning that the two of them established and designed the company to hide their interests, using front men to obtain $134,000 in work from Bergenfield.
Oury said he then used his influence as borough attorney to get municipal officials to use taxpayer dollars to pay the company, known as Government Grants.
For $1.4 million in state grants to buy a four-acre property to expand a park, the municipality paid Governmental Grants $129,000 in 2004. Oury pocked $25,000 of that, the government said.
Besides Bergenfield, Oury also worked as municipal attorney in Paramus, Fort Lee, Fairview, New Milford, Garfield, Edgewater, Ridgefield, and Union City. He also represented the Bergen County Improvement Authority.
Ferriero, meanwhile, spent nearly a decade as one of the state’s most powerful Democrats, before the U.S. Attorney’s Office, then under Chris Christie, began looking into his dealings. Current polls show Christie, a Republican, as an odds-on favorite to defeat Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine in this November’s election.
Chesler scheduled a Jan. 7 sentencing on Oury’s admission to
conspiracy to commit mail fraud and failing to file a tax return for 2006.
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