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Thursday, June 01, 2006

'Operation Bid Rig' goes to trial

For of us who love courtroom drama - "Law and Order,'' Court TV, even Judge Judy - the Monmouth County version is under way in Newark. It's the first trial of one of the 11 public officials nabbed last year in the FBI's Operation Bid Rig probe into official corruption in the county.

It has everything TV seems to like: a former elected municipal official who was also a county employee (Raymond O'Grady) on trial for accepted $8,000 in bribes; another former county employee who has already pleaded out to bribery (Anthony Palughi) who introduced O'Grady to undercover FBI agents; and a list of potential witnesses that includes sitting and former Assembly members and two ex-freeholders, among others.

Court sessions are rarely as riveting as seen on TV. But this trial has potential, if the opening arguments are any hint. The government's case "will give an inside look how public office is sold,'' the prosecuting attorney said. "Tony Palughi is a liar,'' O'Grady's lawyer said. Then there are the FBI tapes of O'Grady saying he could "smell'' a ''cop'' from "a mile away,'' according to the indictment.

It should make for some very good reading. Follow it daily in the Press or online.


Blogger William H Seward said...

You called it Larry. This trial is turning out to be great theater.

12:14 PM, June 03, 2006  

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