Back in ’98, Jersey City City Hall didn’t have Internet email.


I worked in Jersey City City Hall from 1998 to 2001. I was going through some papers yesterday and came across this business card.

Do note the Hotmail address. When I established the COJC municipal Web Site, the City had internal email, but not Internet email. As a quick fix so that the Web Site might provide two-way communication, I proposed the Hotmail email address. I accessed it and so was briefly the sole point of contact for outside email. My directions from the then Business Administrator Rob Lombard was to review each message as quickly as possible. If it was something that I could handle, I did so. Everything else I was to print out and then get to the appropriate department. For the hardcopy stuff, I’d make a judgement call on how serious it was. Important items would get walked right to the Mayor’s Office, the Law Department, the City Clerk or to the Mayor’s Action Bureau. Things not time-sensitive went out by inter-office mail.

I did get questioned by the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Tom Gallagher, on how I handled one email. Someone in the office got a call from an individual very upset about not getting a reply to his message. I told Tom that the email was from someone claiming that the police were using radio waves to transmit messages directly into the person in question’s brain. If the mayor ordered the JCPD to stop these radio signals, the victim would in gratitude provide the formula for limitless energy that he’d devised. I explained to Tom that I was unable to figure out which Department was relevant.

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Mayor Hague Denies Charge of Faking in City Crime Records

Jersey City Mayor Hague Denies Charge of Faking in City Crime Records

Chicago Tribune
June 17, 1938

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Memoirs of Hudson County

Originally appeared in Tiger In The Court
By Paul Hoffman

After eliminating a corrupt regime in New Jersey’s major metropolis, Lacey and Stern turned to the state’s second city – Jersey City.

Frank Hague was elected mayor of Jersey City in 1917, and for more than 30 years the city and surrounding Hudson County were his personal fiefdom. He built the Hudson County Democratic organization into a political powerhouse so strong not even Franklin D. Roosevelt dared challenge him.

“I am the law,” Hague once proclaimed-and it was no idle boast. His tyranny was enforced by police nightsticksand on occasion Hague’s own fists. Hague was something of a puritan. When he was at the table, no liquor could be served-which made political dinners a trifle tedious for many. He would not permit prostitution in Jersey City, and CIO organizers were run out of town. But gambling flourished-so much so that one downtown street was known as “Hague’s Bourse.”

Of course, the gamblers paid for protection, while public servants were assessed three percent of their salaries as “dues” to the organization and contractors had to kick back their tithe. Only a fraction of the money actually found its way to party coffers. Hague, whose salary never exceeded $7500 a year, was worth an estimated eight million dollars when he died in 1956. In that year, political scientist V. O. Key observed, “The plunder of Jersey City by the Hague machine . . . has made it the highest-taxed city in the United States.”

Hague’s downfall started in the spring of 1949 when one of his ward leaders, John V. Kenny, challenged his choice for the mayoralty. The two men were a study in contrasts: Hague, tall, gaunt, aloof; Kenny, a bantam of a man, gregarious, with an Irish twinkle in his eye. Although his ticket was called the Freedom Party and his chief issue was Hague’s wealth and whip hand, Kenny was no reformer. He won his 22,000-vote margin by beating Hague at his own game. Where Hague paid five dollars a vote, Kenny paid fifteen.

Although Kenny had ousted him from his power base, Hague held on to the posts of Hudson County Democratic chairman and New Jersey’s Democratic national committeeman. In the 1949 general election, he tried to install an underling as New Jersey’s governor, but Kenny threw his votes to the GOP, and Hague finally threw in the towel. He resigned his party positions, and Kenny assumed full command in Hudson County.

The 25-year reign of “the Little Guy,” as Kenny was called, was more benign than Hague’s but equally as venal. The rules of the game had not been changed; a new platoon merely took the field. Although Kenny soon left both his public and party posts, he remained the “boss,” calling the signals in both the city and county, operating out of a penthouse suite in Pollak Hospital, where he had installed his son-in-law as administrator.

Click HERE to read more.

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Jersey City Political Campaign Buttons (1929 to 1961)

Pictures are by Joseph M. Murray.


The Campaign Ribbons at the top left are the anti-Hague Fusion Tickets, 1929 and 1933 respectively.


Hudson County campaign buttons from the Kenny era

Jersey City political campaign buttons from the late ’60s and the early ’70s

More campaign buttons

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Coroner misses a minor detail . . .

Back in Jersey City PG (PreGentrification) there was a doctor who was an immoderate imbiber. The way this was handled then was that a group of local physicians met with their tipsy colleague and explained to him that he was being offered the job of Coroner. There also was a warning: if he ever went anywhere near a still-breathing person, these MDs would make sure that he lost his license to practice.

Unable to make worse those already fatally wounded, the new Coroner soon settled into his new job. Everything worked out very well until the day that a certain old gent failed to show for 3 o’clock tea.

A woman running a local rooming house was greatly agitated when phoning the police to report that one of the residents didn’t come downstairs for his afternoon tea. The desk Sergeant at first found the call amusing and tried to explain that this did not appear to be an emergency. The land lady persisted. Every day for some years now the gentleman in question took tea exactly at 3. She’d also knocked on the door and there was no answer. The police agreed immediately to investigate if she would unlock the door.

As the door opened, the police saw a perfectly peaceful scene. The large room was spotless with everything precisely placed. An old man was sitting in an armchair with his head slumped forward. A book lay open on the floor.

The coroner arrived after a long afternoon of fluid therapy, personally administered. He asked the police, “What’s the story here?”

“Some old guy . . . Nothin’ missin’ . . . Heart attack.”

“Yeah, heart attack,” repeated the coroner, as he filled out the form.

An ambulance — now with certainly no need for lights or siren — brought the deceased to a local funeral home. Preparing the cadaver, the mortician noticed an unusual fleck of blood on the left side of the chest. With a rubber-gloved hand, he attempted to fleck it away. The funeral home director was alarmed to find that instead of the routine removal of a bit of organic debris, his finger instead had entered a bullet wound.

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By Warren Murphy

It was an even fifty years ago when the modern-day urban riot began in Watts, California, and started to work its way eastward, accompanied by a lot of bleeding heart politicians wringing their hands about the “poor downtrodden city dwellers who really can’t be blamed.”

Eventually it got to our New Jersey neighborhood — Newark burned. Plainfield burned. There were threats in other N.J. cities but Jersey City didn’t burn. Why? Well, let’s give credit where it’s due: Jersey City had a mayor named Tom Whelan who was as tough as boiled owl and I had the great good fortune to be his personal secretary and right-hand man during that period.

Surrounded by cities rioting, fires, deaths, there were rumblings out in the streets that Jersey City would be next.

The city went on high alert. I asked the mayor “What do you want me to do?”

His answer was simple: “Feed the lions.”

So I wrote on his behalf: “Anybody who touches a Jersey City cop better be prepared to come off second-best.”

That was food for the gladiators; the police knew Whelan always had their back; he was special to them and from all over now, during that warm-weather season, off-duty and vacationing cops came back to the city to go to work because “Tom needs us here.”

Other cities burned and we didn’t. Our streets were flooded with Jersey City cops; gangs were broken up and sent home; kids had unofficial curfews instituted. Looting? There was no looting. No kid wanted to go up against a Jersey City cop. People would come out on their porches in the middle of the night to applaud passing squad cars.

Later I wrote for Mayor Whelan: “There are a lot of reasons for dissatisfaction, but there are no excuses for rioting,” and on a yet later day he was called to testify before Congress and cited “as a very great mayor who showed us how to keep the peace.”

Within the next year I volunteered to work unofficially for the N.J. Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and wrote their report on urban rioting in New Jersey. I also wrote a companion book — my first — titled “The Road to Anarchy” for the same PBA. (You’ll find it now only in certain college libraries. I had no byline and someone else took credit for writing the book but I didn’t really care. I wrote it to promote my boss, Tom Whelan, because I was counting on him to eventually send me to Congress from the 13th Congressional District..)

But life, grand juries and federal prosecutions intervened and eventually Mayor Whelan went away and I left government to go become a novelist. That’s how it was back in the day, and watching Baltimore go up in flames is just déjà vu all over again, and as stupid now as it was 50 years ago.

# # #

Warren Murphy was Personal Secretary to Tom Whelan, Mayor of Jersey City

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By Joe Murray

James F. Murray, Jr. (1919 – 1965) was Democratic New Jersey State Senator for Hudson County from 1954 -1958. He also served as a leading member of Jersey City’s municipal government, first as President of the City’s Board of Tax Commissioners and later as City Commissioner and Director of Revenue & Finance. Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, he was the only son of James F. Murray, Sr., a long-time political opponent of New Jersey political Boss, Mayor Frank Hague.

A Political Family

Three generations of the Murray family had been active in Jersey City politics. Murray’s grandfather was Tax Assessment Commission under Republican Mayor Mark Fagan; whereas his granduncle, George J. Murray, close friend and early supporter of Mayor Frank Hague, was City Poormaster for twelve years.

Murray Jr. learned his political craft from his father, James F. Murray, Sr., an attorney and prominent local businessman. Murray Sr. spent over twenty years trying to unseat Frank Hague, and nearly succeeded in the 1929 municipal election. Murray headed the famous Fusion Ticket, which stands as the most serious electoral threat Hague had ever faced. [1]
[1]J. Owen Grundy, History of Jersey City (Jersey City, N.J., 1976).

The 1949 Freedom Ticket

Finally, in 1949 Murray, Sr. joined forces with defecting Hague lieutenant and downtown ward leader, John V. Kenny. Together they challenged Hague’s machine by forming the Freedom Ticket. The Freedom Ticket defeated Hague’s slate of candidates in a tumultuous municipal election, thus ending Hague’s 37 year reign over Jersey City. Kenny became Mayor. Murray, Sr., who won with Kenny, became one of the newly elected City Commissioners. But the Murray pact with Kenny was short-lived. In 1950 Commissioner Murray defied the new boss by running his son (James F. Murray, Jr.), an attorney and decorated World War II veteran, for Congress. Commissioner Murray was soon punished for his independence. Kenny illegally stripped him of his official powers, alienated him in City Hall and sought to humiliate him in the eyes of the public.

But Kenny’s power play backfired. The Murray-Kenny feud lasted for two years, costing Kenny dearly in public opinion. Wanting to end his prolonged public battle with Murray before the 1952 municipal election, Kenny negotiated a truce. Murray would be nominated to become Hudson County register, while his son was offered a run for the state senate. But before the deal could be consummated, Murray Sr. died in 1952. His sudden death while still in office aroused massive public sympathy. In a shrewd manoeuvre, Kenny made a public act of contrition by deciding the city’s newest public school would be named in honor of his political nemesis, James F. Murray, Sr. He also embraced Murray Jr., who then became his father’s standard-bearer. The young Murray ran for the senate seat in 1953 and won impressively.

State Senate candidate James F. Murray, Jr. speaking at corner stone laying ceremony for James F. Murray School (PS 38) in 1953.

State Senate candidate James F. Murray, Jr. speaking at corner stone laying ceremony for James F. Murray School (PS 38) in 1953.

But it was not long before Murray Jr. turned on Kenny. He used his position as senator to antagonize the Boss, challenging him openly and thwarting his patronage from Democratic Governor Robert B. Meyner. Following a distinguished but short tenure as state Senator, James F. Murray, Jr. became the leading figure in City Hall during the term of what would be the city’s last commission government.

Victory Ticket at City Hall on election night, May 14, 1957. Left to right: Charles S. Witkowski, Thomas Gangemi,  State Senator James F. Murray, Jr., William V. Mc McLaughlin, and August W. Heckman.

Victory Ticket at City Hall on election night, May 14, 1957. Left to right: Charles S. Witkowski, Thomas Gangemi, State Senator James F. Murray, Jr., William V. Mc McLaughlin, and August W. Heckman.

1957 Victory Movement

In 1957, Senator Murray led the “Victory” reform movement which produced a major upset in the Jersey City municipal election. This Victory Ticket win broke the 8-year hold over City Hall by Hudson County Boss, John V. Kenny. In addition to Murray, the 5-man ticket comprised Thomas Gangemi, William McLaughlin, Charles S. Witkowski and August W. Heckman. Four Victory candidates were elected to the City Commission, sweeping aside all but one of Kenny’s City Hall incumbents. Ironically, Thomas Gangemi, who originally organized and funded the opposition slate, failed to win. By polling 63,449 votes, Murray, ran first in a field of ten candidates. Widely expected to become mayor, Murray, having captured the most votes, assumed the office was his. But Thomas Gangemi, deeply humiliated by his defeat, used his influence over the other Victory Commissioners to ensure that Charles Witkowski was chosen as mayor instead.[2]

[2] “Bosses & Reformers: Jersey City Victory Movement of 1957” published in New Jersey History, Volume 103, Numbers 3-4 (Fall/Winter 1985).

JFM Jr. @ City Hall Crop

Jersey City Commissioner

From 1957-1961 Murray was mayor of Jersey City in all but name. As Director of Revenue & Finance, he energetically pursued an array of visionary programs, promoting urban renewal and economic redevelopment.

He launched the first municipal Bureau of Economic Development in the state to exploit the city’s land assets and attract new industries to the city. Three industrial parks were created, including Liberty Industrial Park. During his time as Commissioner, the city’s Chamber of Commerce added more than 300 new companies to its roster. Under Murray’s direction new life was breathed into residential housing. Construction began on the St. John’s and Gregory Gardens middle-class housing developments. Murray also launched Country Village, a showcase scheme to bring suburbia to the city. Plans were conceived for a Fine Arts Center near the St John’s site, which resulted in the Five Corners library, the city’s first new library in 32 years. He was also the force behind approving the building of a new Ferris High School. [3]

[3] “Bosses & Reformers: Jersey City Victory Movement of 1957” published in New Jersey History, Volume 103, Numbers 3-4 (Fall/Winter 1985).

JFM Political Pin

In 1960 Murray championed reform of the city’s system of government. Along with fellow commissioner Bernard J. Berry, whom he backed for mayor in 1961, Murray spearheaded the Charter reform movement to scrap the commission form of government in favor of a mayor and city council. The Charter referendum passed, but Berry lost the 1961 mayoral election to Thomas Gangemi, who after losing in 1957 had attached himself to Hudson County Boss John V. Kenny.

Unable to sustain the Victory movement as a viable alternative to the Kenny machine, Murray left active politics at the end of his term of office. His final years were spent with the law firm of Murray, Nobeletti & Kenny in New York City. He died in early 1965 at the age of 45.


Lieutenant Commander James F. Murray Jr

World War II Military Career

Murray had a distinguished military career during World War II. He served 53 months of active duty with the US Navy in the Atlantic and Mediterranean theatre, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He participated in the invasion campaigns of Africa and Sicily. At Selaro and Anzio he was trapped behind enemy lines several times with naval intelligence teams and spotters. He earned four campaign stars and was awarded the Legion of Merit for “extreme bravery” while on “hazardous intelligence missions in Italy.” In addition he received four other naval citations, one British naval citation as well as the Italian Republic’s Bronze Medal of Valor for his activities with the partisans prior to the fall of Rome. He was also awarded the Lateran Cross by the Vatican. [4]

[4] The Jersey Journal, March 16, 1965

In early 1948, Murray served as advisor to Under Secretary of State James Dunn in the London conference convened to draft peace treaties for Italy, Rumania, Hungary and Bulgaria. Later that year he was appointed assistant naval advisor to then Secretary of State James F. Byrnes at the Paris Peace Conference. Murray was also an offical observer at the Nuremberg Trials. [5]

[5] Hudson Dispatch March 13, 1965

Jesuit Educated

Like his father, Murray Jr. was the product of a Catholic Jesuit education. After graduating from St Peter’s College in Jersey City, he attended Fordham Law School in New York receiving his law degree in 1942. In 1952 he earned an MA in European History from Fordham University. He practiced law as a member of the New York Bar specializing in international law.

Career in Media and Journalism

In addition to politics, Murray was active in journalism and broadcast media as commentator and presenter. He moderated the ABC Radio Series “America’s Town Meeting of the Air” from 1953 to 1955 and frequently hosted other radio and TV programs, such as “Author Meets The Critics” and “People’s Platform”. Known for his oratorical skills, Murray was a sought-after speaker in various public affairs forums. He was also an accomplished journalist and writer, whose published works include Eugenio Pacelli: Pope Of Peace co-authored with Oscar Halecki and “An Interview with Franco”.
Academic References

The Murray Collection

There is a large archive of Murray Family historical material housed at the New Jersey Historical Society under the “Murray Collection.” In addition, an extensive collection of photographs are in family’s possession. Included are original press photographs, many of the 1949 Freedom Ticket and 1957 Victory Ticket campaigns. Some such photographs were used in the article by Joseph M. Murray entitled “Bosses & Reformers: Jersey City Victory Movement of 1957” published in New Jersey History, Volume 103, Numbers 3-4 (Fall/Winter 1985).
Time Magazine New Jersey: New Boss in Town? (May 27, 1957)

Read more:,9171,824868,00.html#ixzz1VNOgBDIX,9171,824868,00.html
Time Magazine The Press: Journal Invictus (Jan. 06, 1958)
Read more:,9171,868124,00.html#ixzz1VNOxT2o1
Time Magazine The Press: The Silent Treatment (June 03, 1957)
Read more:,9171,824956,00.html#ixzz1VNPBDSkE

Leading the protest over Freedom Ticket ballot placement

Leading the protest over Freedom Ticket ballot placement


1981 — Weehawken waterfront an albatross!


Click HERE for the complete article.

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The Riepe Letter — a Hudson County literary project

United States v. Bertoli, 854 F. Supp. 975 (D.N.J. 1994)
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey – 854 F. Supp. 975 (D.N.J. 1994)
March 30, 1994

c. The Riepe Letter
On 7 March 1994, Bertoli submitted new evidence which he contends warrants a further hearing on the issue of Juror Six’s asserted misconduct.[206] This new evidence *1105 consists of a letter from John Riepe (“Riepe”) to Levitt, dated 4 March 1994 (the “Riepe Letter”). In the Riepe Letter, Riepe purports to be “engaged in a literary project focusing on the emotional impact courtroom proceedings have on jurors, and the way in which they reach decisions or verdicts.” Riepe Letter, attached to Levitt Aff. as Exhibit E, at 1.

Riepe states that, in connection with this “literary project,” he pursued and interviewed at least one juror in Bertoli’s case (“Juror Two”).[207] Attached to the Riepe Letter are notes of an interview between Riepe and Juror Two, held 1 February 1994 (the “Riepe Notes”).[208] It is the Riepe Notes which Bertoli relies upon in requesting a further hearing into Juror Six’s asserted misconduct. See 7 March 1994 Bertoli Brief at 8, 16.

According to the Riepe Notes, Juror Two disclosed to Riepe several details concerning the private deliberations of the jury in this case. Bertoli makes specific reference to the following passages:
In the beginning, we all felt that Bertoli was clean. After a while, I (and others) felt that Bertoli had to be a little dirty to be involved in all this, but not to the extent that the [G]overnment had proved in their case. There was one woman ([Juror Six]) who insisted that he was dirty and guilty from the very beginning. I don’t know why the [G]overnment was so intent on putting this guy away when the witnesses for the [G]overnment seemed to be far guiltier than he was. But this woman ([Juror Six]) didn’t like him from the beginning. And there were times during the trial when I felt that [Juror Six] wasn’t even listening. On occasion, there were multiple jurors sleeping. [Juror Six] was one of the ones who slept.

I got upset with [Juror Six]. We were repeatedly voting without conclusion and I thought the judge would think that we were brain-dead because we couldn’t reach a decision. …
[Juror Six] had three people thrown off the jury because she said they tried to influence the rest of us. She went to the *1106 judge to tell him that these jurors were saying that this man was innocent, and were prejudicial [sic], while she herself had been saying he was guilty from the beginning. She was pretty much guilty of all the things she said they were guilty of but she went to the judge first. The judge said he believed the statements of the accused jurors but released them for the sake of the court. The other jurors in the courtroom didn’t even know what was going on. If the judge was going to disqualify these jurors, he should have disqualified [Juror Six] as well.

[Juror Six] was a very dramatic person. She had to be the center of attention. She claimed she was taking medication for sugar and made a big production of everything. Some or us were under the impression that she was dragging out the trial for the $40 per day, and because she probably had nothing else to do.
Riepe Notes at 2-3.

Bertoli argues the comments of Juror Two, as described in the Riepe Notes, indicate misconduct on the part of Juror Six in that she “repeatedly expressed opinions regarding … Bertoli’s guilt to other jurors during the trial.” 7 March 1994 Bertoli Brief at 16. Bertoli argues, therefore, that the Riepe Notes warrant a new trial or, in the alternative, “a hearing at which all knowledgeable persons should be called upon to testify.” 7 March 1994 Bertoli Brief at 16.
Impeachment of the Verdict: Rule 606(b)

Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b) provides, in full:
Inquiry into validity of verdict or indictment. Upon an inquiry into the validity of a verdict or indictment, a juror may not testify as to any matter or statement occurring during the course of the jury’s deliberations or the effect of anything upon that or any other juror’s mind or emotions as influencing the juror to assent to or dissent from the verdict or indictment or concerning the juror’s mental processes in connection therewith, except that a juror may testify on the question whether extraneous prejudicial information was improperly brought to the jury’s attention or whether any outside influence was improperly brought to bear upon any juror. Nor may a juror’s affidavit or evidence of any statement by the juror concerning a matter about which the juror would be precluded from testifying be received for these purposes.

Fed.R.Evid. 606(b) (emphasis added).
As the Supreme Court has noted, Rule 606(b) “is grounded in the common-law rule against admission of jury testimony to impeach a verdict and the exception for juror testimony relating to extraneous influences.” Tanner, 483 U.S. at 121, 107 S.Ct. at 2748. The rule recognizes that a jury’s verdict may not be impeached by a juror’s testimony as to “`internal’ rather than `external’ matters.” Id. at 118, 107 S.Ct. at 2746.

Elaborating on this distinction, the Court has explained that, under Rule 606(b), a juror can
testify as to the influence of extraneous prejudicial information brought to the jury’s attention (e.g. a radio newscast or a newspaper account) or an outside influence which improperly had been brought to bear upon a juror (e.g. a threat to the safety of a member of his family), but he [can]not testify as to other irregularities which occurred in the jury room.[209]

Id. at 123, 107 S.Ct. at 2749 (quoting H.R.Rep. No. 93-6450 at 9-10 (1973)) (emphasis added); see United States v. Black, 843 F.2d 1456, 1464 n. 7 (D.C.Cir.1988) (Under rationale of Tanner and Rule 606(b), a juror’s affidavit or testimony “is incompetent to impeach the verdict for internal error; juror affidavits [or testimony] may only be used for the narrow purpose of showing `extraneous influence,’ such as prejudicial publicity.”); Government of the Virgin Islands v. Nicholas, 759 F.2d 1073, 1080 (3d Cir.1985) (adopting identical reading of Rule 606(b) on *1107 rationale that “[i]t is obvious that the drafters of the rule were primarily concerned with jury tampering or improper communications to the jury …”).

Where allegations of juror misconduct are based solely on juror testimony as to `internal’ matters, which testimony would be inadmissible under Rule 606(b), a post-verdict evidentiary hearing is not required with respect to such allegations. See Tanner, 483 U.S. at 127, 107 S.Ct. at 2751; Gilsenan, 949 F.2d at 97; Nicholas, 759 F.2d at 1081; see also United States v. O’Brien, 972 F.2d 12, 14 (1st Cir.1992) (“Only communications between jurors and others which concern the case require further inquiry.”).

It has consistently been held that premature deliberations or improper jury discussions do not constitute “extraneous” irregularities, and testimony regarding such deliberations or discussions may not be received from jurors. See United States v. Cuthel, 903 F.2d 1381, 1382-83 (11th Cir. 1990) (“evidence of premature deliberation” could not be the subject of post-verdict inquiry because “there was no allegation of extraneous prejudicial information being brought to the jury’s attention; nor was there evidence of improper outside influence sufficient to warrant an inquiry”); Chiantese, 582 F.2d at 979 (juror’s remark during trial that defense attorney was “stupid” and “a pain in the ___ [sic]” did not require evidentiary hearing because “there was no outside influence”); United States v. Williams-Davis, 821 F.Supp. 727, 741 (D.D.C.1993) (juror discussions of case prior to deliberations did not require a hearing because such discussions were not extraneous influence under Rule 606(b)); United States v. Oshatz, 715 F.Supp. 74, 76 (S.D.N.Y.1989) (Juror’s testimony that other jurors “had made up their minds” after testimony of Government’s chief witness was inadmissible as internal matter under Rule 606(b)); see also United States v. Casamayor, 837 F.2d 1509, 1515 (11th Cir.1988) (“[T]he alleged harassment or intimidation of one juror by another would not be competent evidence to impeach the verdict under Rule 606(b)….”), cert. denied sub nom. Barker v. United States, 488 U.S. 1017, 109 S.Ct. 813, 102 L.Ed.2d 803 (1989).

Applying these principles to the facts at bar, none of the facts alleged in the Riepe Letter or the Riepe Notes would be admissible to impeach Bertoli’s guilty verdict. Every allegation supposedly made by Juror Two in the Riepe Notes concerns internal matters about which jurors would be incompetent to testify pursuant to Rule 606(b). As stated, Bertoli relies solely on Juror Two’s allegations as to comments made, and views held, by Juror Six prior to deliberations. See Riepe Notes at 2-3; 7 March 1994 Bertoli Brief at 16. Such comments and views do not constitute external influences under Rule 606(b). See Oshatz, 715 F.Supp. at 76. The testimony of Juror Two, or of any other juror, regarding such statements by Juror Six would be inadmissible to impeach the verdict. Id. Accordingly, neither a new trial nor an evidentiary hearing is warranted by Juror Two’s allegations as set forth in the Riepe Notes.

Bertoli does not appear to argue a hearing is warranted by Juror Two’s allegations that other jurors were sleeping and otherwise inattentive during trial. Riepe Notes at 2. To the extent he does, his argument fails on both factual and legal grounds. As a factual matter, any assertion that jurors were sleeping during testimony in Bertoli’s trial is simply inaccurate. All parts of the jury box are in plain view of the court and the parties; any juror sleeping while testimony was being taken would have been conspicuous and noticed immediately. The court observed no jurors sleeping, either while testimony was being taken or at any other time during trial. Nor did the parties bring any such occurrence to the court’s attention. Throughout trial, in fact, the jurors and alternates were observed to be alert and attentive. Any assertion to the contrary lacks credibility. See United States v. Hernandez, 921 F.2d 1569, 1577-78 (11th Cir.) (where trial judge found, in response to defense assertions of juror inattentiveness, that “no jurors had been asleep at trial,” refusal to investigate issue further was well within discretion of trial court), cert. denied sub nom. Tape v. United States, 500 U.S. 958, 111 S.Ct. 2271, 114 L.Ed.2d 722 (1991); see United States v.*1108Key, 717 F.2d 1206, 1209 (8th Cir.1983) (same).

Any testimony, moreover, by Juror Two regarding sleeping jurors would be incompetent to impeach the verdict. A juror’s testimony that other jurors were sleeping or inattentive during trial does not concern “extraneous” influences and is therefore inadmissible under Rule 606(b). See Tanner, 483 U.S. at 121, 107 S.Ct. at 2748 (“[U]nder Rule 606(b), `proof to the following effects is excludable …: that one or more jurors was inattentive during trial or deliberations, sleeping or thinking about other matters.'”) (quoting 3 D. Lousell & C. Mueller, Federal Evidence § 287 at 121-25 (1979)); see also Nicholas, 759 F.2d at 1078 (“[Q]uestions concerning the competency of a jury ordinarily are not entertained once the jury has rendered its verdict.”).

Only jurors could testify, based on personal knowledge, regarding the issues raised by Juror Two in the Riepe Letter and Riepe Notes. As stated, none of these issues concern “extraneous” influences within the meaning of Rule 606(b). Therefore, any testimony regarding the issues raised in the Riepe Letter and Riepe Notes would be inadmissible to impeach the verdict in this case.[210]See Tanner, 483 U.S. at 123, 107 S.Ct. at 2749. Under these facts, neither a new trial nor an evidentiary hearing is warranted by the Riepe Letter and Riepe Notes. Id.

[207] Both Riepe and Levitt have identified Juror Two by name. However, because this opinion is intended for publication, Juror Two’s name is withheld in the interest of her privacy.

[208] In introducing the Riepe Letter, Levitt certified that Riepe is “an independent writer….” Levitt Aff., ¶ 1. Levitt further certified the Riepe Notes reflect “interviews and related interviews independently conducted by Riepe with jurors. …” Id.

Evidence submitted by the Government, however, casts significant doubt on the representations of Levitt in this regard. Specifically, it appears Riepe has had significant prior contact with Bertoli. An investigation by the Government has revealed Riepe as the former press secretary to Wally Lindsley (“Lindsley”), mayor of Weehawken, New Jersey from 1980 through 1982. 16 Mar. 1994 Cahill Aff., ¶ 1. Riepe has also been identified as Lindsley’s “spokesman.” Id., Ex. 2. Lindsley was convicted of a violation of the Hobbs Act in this district in 1983 (the “Lindsley Prosecution”). Id.

Lindsley and Bertoli have an extensive and well-documented relationship. In 1984, Lindsley testified on Bertoli’s behalf in connection with the SEC Investigation. During this testimony, Lindsley stated that, as of 1984, he had known Bertoli for five years. 16 Mar. 1994 Cahill Aff., Ex. 3 at 23. Lindsley further testified he “admire[d]” Bertoli, and considered him a “God-fearing scholar.” Id. at 24. Lindsley also testified he borrowed $10,000 from Bertoli to finance his defense in the Lindsley Prosecution. Id. at 52. During the Lindsley Prosecution, Lindsley confirmed on cross-examination that Bertoli “was a family friend.” Id., Ex. 4.

Bertoli has continued to demonstrate his close relationship with Lindsley in the instant proceedings. In connection with his continuing efforts to introduce evidence of vindictive prosecution to the jury, Bertoli has made repeated reference to this relationship. For example, in the 19 January 1994 Bertoli Brief, Bertoli stated that, if permitted, he “would have introduced evidence that the [G]overnment targeted Bertoli because he … provided assistance to former Weehawken Mayor … Lindsley when Lindsley was prosecuted. …” Id. at 7; see Affidavit of Bertoli, dated 13 March 1992, in Support of Motion to Dismiss Indictment on Grounds of Vindictive and Selective Prosecution, ¶ 12A (“The affiant caused substantial family funds to be loaned to Lindsley to retain his counsel….”).

[209] An irregularity need not occur inside the jury room, in the physical sense, in order to be considered `internal.’ Rather, the distinction focuses on whether the irregularity or influence involves jurors alone, or other non-jury influences as well. Thus, in Tanner, the Supreme Court determined that “juror intoxication is not an `outside influence’ about which jurors may testify to impeach the verdict.” 483 U.S. at 125, 107 S.Ct. at 2750.

[210] The Riepe Letter and Riepe Notes themselves lack credibility. As indicated, Bertoli and Riepe have a substantial relationship through their close friendships with Lindsley. See supra note 208. It appears Bertoli, through Levitt, sought to conceal this relationship by representing that Riepe is “an independent writer” who conducted juror interviews on his own initiative. Levitt Aff., ¶ 1. In light of Bertoli’s extensive relationship with Riepe, it is highly unlikely that Riepe’s decision to interview jurors in Bertoli’s case was pure coincidence. Because it appears the Riepe Letter and Riepe Notes were the result of collusion between Bertoli and Riepe, these documents cannot be deemed credible.

Accordingly, the Riepe Letter and Riepe Notes cannot provide a basis for a new trial or evidentiary hearing. See Kelly, 749 F.2d at 1551-52 (where court found allegations of juror bias to lack credibility, it was within its discretion to deny request for evidentiary hearing to examine juror bias); see also Caldwell, 776 F.2d at 998 (“The more speculative or unsubstantiated the allegation of misconduct, the less the burden to investigate.”).

Levitt’s actions in concealing the relationship between Riepe and Bertoli from the court raise potential concerns of a different nature. Rule 19B of the General Rules for the District of New Jersey prohibits an attorney or party, either “personally or through any investigator or other person acting for such attorney or party,” from interviewing, examining or questioning any juror during the pendency of the trial without leave of the court. Though the issue need not be decided at this juncture, the facts before the court suggest this Rule may have been violated.

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Dave Friedland and Tony Pro’s Retainer

Anthony Provenzano -- Local 560 Teamsters Boss -- is believed to have been responsible for the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa.

Teamsters Local 560 Boss Anthony Provenzano (Tony Pro) is believed to have been responsible for the disappearance and presumed murder of Jimmy Hoffa.

In the 60s (I simply can not remember when.), I received a call from Tony Pro. He said “Kid, come over to the office right away. I have someone here I need you to talk to.”

I left my law office in Jersey City and drove to the Local 560 office in Union City. When I entered Tony Pro’s office, he was standing next to a giant man with a huge red beefy face. The guy looked like he weighed 350 pounds or more. It was KO Konigsberg. I had heard of him but never met him.

Tony said “Kid, I need you to do a favor for Mr. Konigsberg here.” I asked “What’s that Tony?” He said “You are suing some of his people, and I want you to drop the suit.”

I did not know what he was talking about, but I called one of the layers in my office and found out that we had two clients who came in and retained us to start assault and battery complaints against some of KO’s “enforcers” who had beat them up when they failed to repay a loansharking debt.

I thought about this and went back into Tony’s office. He was now sitting behind his desk with Konigsberg sprawled out on a big blue couch. I looked Tony in the eye and told him what I learned and I said “Tony, what you want me to do is to double-cross my own clients?” He said “No, Kid, I just want you to do Mr. Konigsberg this favor.”

I said “Tony if I did that, would you ever be able to trust me again?” and I turned and walked out of his office before anyone could reply.

That afternoon my father, who was my law partner, got a call from Tony. Tony said “Jake, your kid has got some gallunes! I never saw anything like it. I want him as my personal lawyer. I am going to put him on my payroll for $25,000 a year. He is my lawyer!”

That money was a lot in those days, but Tony told the story all over the place. Even Jimmy Hoffa mentioned it to me — at the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami when he introduced me to and told the same story to Meyer Lansky. (We then all played gin. Lansky was a genius at gin. Remembered every card. No one could beat him. He had a cabana at the Eden Roc.)

David Friedland

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