- Associated Press - Thursday, April 2, 2015

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A former northern New Jersey Democratic powerbroker on trial on federal corruption trials has decided not to testify and his defense attorneys have rested their case.

The Record reports (https://bit.ly/1Fn6f4X ) that Joseph Ferriero waived his right to testify to U.S. District Judge Esther Salas on Thursday.

The U.S. attorney’s office claims Ferriero used his position as the head of the Bergen County Democratic Organization to run bribery, kickback and extortion schemes.

Defense attorney Michael Baldassare had said that Ferriero would take the witness stand. He says it was up to Ferriero to make “the most important decision of his life.”

Prosecutors say Ferriero took cash in exchange for using his political influence to help a Virginia-based developer win a contract to build the ill-fated Xanadu complex at the Meadowlands. He’s also accused of taking kickbacks on municipal contracts.

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Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), https://www.northjersey.com

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