In the matter of the 2009 massive corruption sting arrests, the federal government has until Monday to apply for an en banc appeal, before the full 3rd District Court of Appeals, as opposed to a three-member panel, to hear an appeal of a district judge's ruling that the Hobbs Act provision "under color of official right" does not apply to non-public officials.
Word is coming from several sources that the U.S. attorney's Office may be seeking another 30-day extension, more time to decide whether to appeal U.S. District Judge Jose Linares' earlier decision. As a result of the judge's decision the more serious extortion charges against Louis and Ronald Manzo were thrown out. They still face charges of bribery and mail fraud.
Former assemblyman Lou Manzo had been running for mayor at the time of the sting involving FBI informant Solomon Dwek.
Others who could be affected by Linares' decision are former councilman James "Jimmy'' King, former Housing Authority commissioner Lori Serrano and former council candidate LaVern Webb-Washington.
Should the federal government ask for another 30 days, naturally look for the defense attorneys to raise objections.
The defendants already mentioned had been called out to federal court in Newark on March 16 only to be told that the session was canceled because the U.S. Attorney's Office had obtained the first 30-day delay to decide upon an appeal.
By Agustin C. Torres/The Jersey Journal