Jersey City official admits to taking bribes

//August 7, 2009//

Jersey City official admits to taking bribes

//August 7, 2009//

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Guilty plea is not part of 44-arrest corruption sting FBI led last month.The FBI took down yet another corrupt New Jersey official when a Jersey City supervisor pleaded guilty to extorting corrupt cash payments from contractors, according to acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra Jr.

South River resident Angela Bellizzi, 53, could face 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she’s sentenced Nov. 12. The supervisor of permits and connection fees for the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority admitted she accepted cash payments to falsify and approve fraudulent sewer permit applications.

All told, from January 2005 through June 2008, Bellizzi accepted from $75,000 to about $120,000 of corrupt cash payments, Marra said.

Bellizzi said on “several occasions” she took from $200 to $500 from a “cooperating witness,” the U.S. Attorney’s office announced, adding that the latest arrest was separate from the highly publicized July 23rd FBI sting that netted 44 public officials and others.

“This is just more of the same of what we’ve seen too often in Jersey City and elsewhere in New Jersey — public officials and employees in a position of authority abusing that authority to line their pockets,” Marra said Thursday. “It’s a disgrace, and subverts even routine functions of government.”

He said Bellizzi falsified paperwork to reduce permit application fees, making it appear that sewer connections would be for two-bedroom residences when they were in fact for three-bedroom units, Marra said.

Bellizzi admitted she agreed to falsify permit applications in return for payments, and told contractors how to falsify permit applications that would be approved by her in return for payments, according to the announcement.

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