- Associated Press - Thursday, April 9, 2015

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The federal racketeering trial of a former northern New Jersey Democratic power broker has gone to the jury.

Jurors deliberated for about four hours Thursday in the case against Joseph Ferriero.

Ferriero has been on trial in Newark since late February on a five-count indictment that alleges he used his position as head of the Bergen County Democratic Organization to run bribery and kickback schemes.

Prosecutors contend Ferriero took $35,000 per month in exchange for not opposing a Virginia-based developer’s bid to build a retail and entertainment center at the Meadowlands sports complex. They also claim he got kickbacks on municipal contracts in Bergen County.

An executive for the Virginia company testified during the trial that he didn’t believe the payments to Ferriero were illegal.

Deliberations resume Tuesday.

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