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Charges Dropped Against NJ Official in 2009 Sting

Peter Dazeley, Getty Images

Another defendant in New Jersey’s largest corruption sting has had charges against him dropped.

Former Jersey City arson investigator Michael Manzo was arrested along with more than 40 others in July 2009. He was charged with official extortion for allegedly taking money from an informant posing as a corrupt developer. Manzo was running for Jersey City council at the time.

He pleaded guilty a few months later. But a subsequent judge’s ruling held that Manzo and others shouldn’t have been charged under a law that applies to elected officials but not candidates.

The charge was officially dismissed in a court filing Friday.

Most of the defendants have pleaded guilty. Manzo is the third to have charges officially dropped, and two more were acquitted at trials.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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