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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

July 23, 09 -- Absolutely amazing details of the bust of Assemblyman Van Pelt.

PLEASE (!!!!) Please take a minute to read this FBI transcript from the Assemblyman Van Pelt
Arrest.
If you’ve ever wondered how developers fare so well in this county, this might be a hint.
No, I’m not saying this is what goes on with every bit of build-out but please realize that this is just one time the FBI tried this investigative technique hereabouts. You’re telling me that no other local developers weren’t caressed like this in the (recent) past? You figure out the odds of that being the case.
(((((((((((()))))))))))))

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA : CRIMINAL COMPLAINT
:
v.
DANIEL M. VAN PELT : Mag. No. 09-8141 (MCA)

I, Robert J. Cooke, am a Special Agent with the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”). I have personally participated
in this investigation and am aware of the facts contained herein,
based upon my own investigation, as well as information provided
to me by other law enforcement officers. Because this Attachment
A is submitted for the limited purpose of establishing probable
cause, I have not included herein the details of every aspect of
the investigation. Statements attributable to individuals
contained in this Attachment are related in substance and in
part, except where otherwise indicated. All contacts discussed
herein were recorded, except where otherwise indicated.


1. At all times relevant to this Complaint, defendant
DANIEL M. VAN PELT (hereinafter, “defendant VAN PELT”) served as
an elected member of the New Jersey State Assembly representing
New Jersey’s Ninth Legislative District. As an Assemblyman,
defendant VAN PELT’s official duties included: (a) proposing,
voting on, and drafting legislation; (b) conducting and
permitting in committee hearings, including as a member of the
Committee on the Environment and Solid Waste (the “Environmental
Committee”); (c) exercising legislative oversight concerning
State agencies and departments, including as a member of the
Environmental Committee which oversaw the activities of the New
Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”); (d) making
recommendations to, and negotiating with State agencies and
departments; and (e) providing constituent services to New Jersey
citizens and organizations, which services included bringing the
merits of a citizen’s position to the attention of State agencies
and departments and making a recommendation on a matter or
indicating support for a citizen’s position to State agencies or
departments. In addition, defendant VAN PELT served as Township
Administrator for Lumberton Township, New Jersey since at least
in or about 2006. As the Township Administrator for Lumberton
Township, defendant VAN PELT was generally responsible for the
day-to-day administration of Lumberton Township affairs,
supervision of municipal department heads, and implementation of
Lumberton policies. Defendant VAN PELT also served on the Ocean
Township Committee from in or about 1998 to in or about 2009.

2. At all times relevant to this Complaint, there was a
cooperating witness (the “CW”) who, for the purposes of this
investigation, posed as a real estate developer interested in
development in Ocean County, New Jersey. The CW represented that
the CW did business in numerous states, including Florida and New
Jersey, and that the CW paid for goods and services in interstate
commerce.

3. On or about February 11, 2009, defendant VAN PELT met
with the CW at a restaurant in Waretown, New Jersey. During this
meeting, defendant VAN PELT was informed by the CW that the CW
was interested in developing real estate in Waretown, and the
surrounding areas. Defendant VAN PELT explained to the CW that
to develop certain properties in Ocean County, the CW would need
to acquire a Coastal Area Facility Review Act (“CAFRA”) permit
for such properties from the DEP.1 Defendant VAN PELT further
indicated to the CW that Waretown was in his legislative
district, and that consequently, he could assist the CW with the
CW’s real estate development interests there. Defendant VAN PELT
also was advised by the CW that the CW wanted defendant VAN PELT
on the CW’s “team.” Defendant VAN PELT then suggested that the
CW hire defendant VAN PELT as a “consultant” and laughed as he
made this suggestion. Defendant VAN PELT was then advised by the
CW that the CW was not a member of the democratic or republican
parties, but that the CW was a member of the “green” party and
that “green is cash,” meaning that the CW was willing to pay cash
to defendant VAN PELT for his assistance.

4. At the end of the meeting, defendant VAN PELT and the
CW discussed defendant VAN PELT joining the CW’s “team” and the
possibility of defendant VAN PELT accepting $10,000 from the CW
“to start” and more money from the CW if the CW’s real estate
development projects proceeded successfully.

5. On or about February 21, 2009, defendant VAN PELT and
the CW met at a restaurant in Atlantic City. During this
meeting, defendant VAN PELT explained that it would be
“challenging” but “doable” for the CW to receive CAFRA permits
for the CW real estate development projects in Ocean County, but
agreed with the CW who stated that defendant VAN PELT knew the
“right guys” who could cause the CW to receive such permits
quickly. As the meeting continued, defendant VAN PELT asked the
CW “what do you want me to do [for you]?” When defendant VAN
PELT was informed by the CW that the CW was particularly
concerned about CAFRA permits, defendant VAN PELT assured the CW
that defendant VAN PELT had a “pretty good reputation with the
State” and that he could deal with the DEP, who defendant VAN
PELT agreed “worked for” him [meaning defendant VAN PELT oversaw
the DEP as a member of the Environmental Committee]. Later in
the meeting, as another restaurant customer took a photograph,
defendant VAN PELT stated “we don’t want to get our picture
taken” and laughed.

6. At the end of the meeting, defendant VAN PELT accepted
$10,000 in cash from the CW as defendant VAN PELT was advised by
the CW “I’m telling you, DEP and CAFRA, that’s where I need my
most ah, assistance.” In response, defendant VAN PELT agreed to
provide such official assistance and claimed that he would “hold
onto it,” [meaning the money he just accepted from the CW], that
he did not know what he would do with the money, and that he
would have assisted the CW for free. Then, defendant VAN PELT
invited the CW to call him “anytime” and to have the CW’s
engineer call him as well.

7. On or about March 30, 2009, defendant VAN PELT met with
the CW at a diner in Waretown. Regarding a potential development
project in Waretown, defendant VAN PELT remarked to the CW that
the CW had something due that coming week, but the CW indicated
that the CW might not be ready yet. With respect to this
proposed, a potential multi-unit, multi-use development,
defendant VAN PELT and the CW asked each other questions about
various contacts each of them were supposed to make in connection
with the project. Defendant VAN PELT indicated that he would
send himself an e-mail to remind himself to make particular
contact. Defendant VAN PELT further advised the CW that the
Waretown Administrator was leaning towards engaging in the
project with a certain developer. Defendant VAN PELT further
stated that he was not, as yet, going to tell Waretown officials
about the CW, remarking that he and the CW knew what was
necessary to be successful. Defendant VAN PELT also advised the
CW that before the CW submitted an application regarding this
project, defendant VAN PELT wanted to review it, to counsel the
CW on what to add or remove so as to fine tune the application to
give the CW the best possible chance of prevailing. Defendant
VAN PELT further suggested that since the town was having budget
problems, if the CW offered some good faith payment to the town,
that this could enhance the CW’s application.

8. During this meeting, defendant VAN PELT also indicated
that he could expedite approvals for the CW from the DEP, to
include matters involving CAFRA. By way of example, defendant
VAN PELT told the CW that he was able to secure a CAFRA permit
for another individual in six months. In response to the CW
observing that defendant VAN PELT knew the “right guys,” VAN PELT
replied to the CW that one had to “know” how to “work” the
“channels.” Later at this meeting, defendant VAN PELT further
disclosed that he still had the “envelope” (likely a reference to
the $10,000 that VAN PELT had accepted from the CW on or about
February 21st) in his top drawer. Shortly thereafter, defendant
VAN PELT told the CW that he wanted to get the project done for
the CW, and if VAN PELT did not, then the CW would get “it”
(likely referring to the $10,000) back. Defendant VAN PELT
further told the CW that the CW’s project would be a good one and
that VAN PELT would like to see the CW get it because he thought
that the CW would do a “nice job.” At the end of the meeting,
the CW provided defendant VAN PELT with a GPS device for VAN PELT
to utilize to obtain driving directions.

9. On or about May 15, 2009, defendant VAN PELT met with
the CW at a diner in Waretown. There, they discussed the CW’s
plans for the Waretown project, for which the CW purported to
include a number of retail stores and food chains in the CW’s
plan. The CW also indicated to defendant VAN PELT that the CW
would need DEP permits in connection with wetlands issues.
Defendant VAN PELT indicated that he could make telephone calls
and meet with DEP officials on behalf of the CW. Defendant VAN
PELT also urged the CW to try to get something down on paper to
show to Waretown officials who were involved in the development
process. Defendant VAN PELT further indicated that he could meet
with engineers involved with Waretown and the project to further
assist the CW. Defendant VAN PELT also indicated to the CW that
he would set up a meeting with a Waretown official, whom VAN PELT
believed had influence with other Waretown officials, and the CW,
to discuss the project in an attempt to assist the CW in
determining whether Waretown officials were on the CW’s “team”
before the CW engaged in significant action and expense regarding
the project.

10. On or about May 22, 2009, defendant VAN PELT met with a
Waretown Official (the “Official) and the CW at a diner in
Waretown. Defendant VAN PELT arranged for the Official to meet
the CW. Before the Official arrived, defendant VAN PELT and the
CW, among other things discussed the fact that another
assemblyman who sat near defendant VAN PELT in the New Jersey
General Assembly who has come under federal indictment just the
day before. Defendant VAN PELT referred to this activity as
“dumb.” In response to a question from the CW, defendant VAN
PELT indicated that the CW did not have to discuss the CW’s
“generosity” with the Official, and that, even if the CW did not
know defendant VAN PELT, the CW did not have to have such
discussion with the Official. Defendant VAN PELT added that the
CW should just give the Official a quality project in Waretown.
Thereafter, the Official arrived and the three parties discussed
the project in Waretown. After the Official left, among other
things, the CW expressed concern about getting involved in the
project and then determining that the CW did not have the support
of the Waretown officials, causing the CW to lose substantial
money. In response, defendant VAN PELT assured the CW that VAN
PELT would not let the CW do that, and if VAN PELT saw things
“going south,” VAN PELT would let the CW know. Later, defendant
VAN PELT further told the CW that he would assist the CW in
Waretown, that the CW did not owe VAN PELT anything, and that VAN
PELT wanted to see Waretown and the CW do well. In response to
the CW indicating that the CW was willing to pay more money to
officials, including defendant VAN PELT, for their assistance,
defendant VAN PELT indicated to the CW that if VAN PELT ran for a
seat in the United States Congress, they would talk.

Views: 48

Comment by ronk654 on July 24, 2009 at 12:21am
And we all wonder why these guys spend so much money to get elected.
Additionally, he was greedy enough to be double dipping. That should be outlawed and any voter who sees that happening should see flashing warning signs that something bad will come of it. How can they serve two masters? How could you be like a mayor and then have a county job which might occasionally need to rule on a local matter against the townships best interest? Who would you be loyal to? I guess the old adage follow the money applies.
They are, after all, so much smarter than us sheep. If only they could just put a lid on all their arrogance.

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