Torricelli donor David Chang’s weekend at the Hudson County jail

In December of 1999, the FBI arrested David Chang, provider of a Rolex watch, Italian suits and other expensive objects to then US Senator Robert Torricelli. Charges included obstruction of justice and illegal campaign contributions totalling over $50,000.

Chang’s stopover at the local lockup had quite a few interesting features. William Northgrave, the county counsel and a top aide to then County Executive Robert Janiszewski directed jailer Martin Budnick to be on the job that weekend. (Bobby J was a Torricelli ally.) Budnick’s normal schedule was Monday through Friday. The ever-thoughtful Marty Budnick contended that he only gave David Chang a blanket and something to eat.

Solicitude was not limited just to cold and hunger. In addition, Torricelli donor Chang was not allowed to suffer from loneliness. On the night of Saturday December 11th, 1999, visitors stopped by David Chang’s jail cell to advise silence. A big guy whose arm displayed a tattoo said,”You know what you are supposed to do.” Later, another visitor woke Chang. This caller made the international hand sign for omerta by placing a raised index finger against his lips. This little welcome wagon reportedly included Paul Byrne, Robert Janiszewski’s main politcal operative.

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