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Opening Statements Set For Former N.J. 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) — Attorneys were scheduled to deliver opening statements Wednesday at the federal corruption trial of a former New Jersey assemblyman.

L. Harvey Smith is accused of taking $15,000 from a government informant after promising he would help with environmental permits for the informant’s building project in Jersey City.

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

Smith was one of 46 people arrested in the sting last year. About half have pleaded guilty and three have been convicted at trial.

Charges were dropped last week against a man accused of passing $5,000 from Dwek to Smith.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)