From the reporters at NorthJersey.com comes news that former New Jersey State Senator Wayne Bryant was acquitted last Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New Jersey. The charges against Bryant were based upon a “monthly retainer” agreement between Bryant and Eric Wisler, a developer and partner in the DeCotiis Law Firm in Teaneck, New Jersey, under which Wisler paid Bryant approximately $200,000 between 2004 and 2006. The prosecution alleged that the monies constituted a bribe in return for Bryant’s vote in favor of $300 million in low-interest State loans for Wisler’s client, Cherokee Investment Partners based in Raleigh, North Carolina, for various projects, including EnCap, a golf project in Southern New Jersey. However, following a four week non-jury trial, the Court found that the government had failed to prove that Bryant had engaged in any criminal wrongdoing, despite the fact that Bryant did not disclose the payments from Wisler, who was indicted in 2010 and passed away last October, to his fellow members of the Senate Budget Committee. The EnCap project and related projects sought to develop some of the State’s most undesirable land, such as the Meadowlands.
Bryant’s savoring of his victory is likely to be limited, however, since he is currently serving 44 months for an unrelated corruption conviction in 2008.