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Jury Yet To Be Seated For Former Lawmaker’s Trial

Government Witness Solomon Dwek (credit: CBS 2)

Government Witness Solomon Dwek (credit: CBS 2)

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – The first day of jury selection in the trial of former New Jersey Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith has ended without a panel being seated.

Attorneys will return Tuesday to pick a jury for Smith’s bribery and extortion trial.

Smith was accused of taking $15,000 from a government informant after promising he would speak to other state officials about environmental permits for the informant’s building project in Jersey City.

The informant, Solomon Dwek, pleaded guilty to a $50 million bank fraud and secretly recorded meetings and phone calls with dozens of public officials and rabbis in New Jersey and Brooklyn.

Smith was one of more than 40 people arrested in the sting last year. About half have pleaded guilty and three have been convicted at trial.

(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)