Two one-time Morris County officials had another day in court Monday morning on a corruption case dating back to December, 2019.
But after the brief hearing before Judge Stephen Taylor in state Superior Court, Morristown, the cases against John Cesaro of Parsippany and John Windish of Mount Arlington remain pending.
Resolving the cases through apparent plea agreements is a possibility.
Taylor scheduled another hearing for August 23.
Additionally, Robert Dunn, the lawyer for Cesaro, said he’s also contemplating a motion to dismiss the charges.
It was big news in the political world back in December, 2019 when Cesaro, Windish and three other New Jersey politicos were charged with taking bribes.
This was a bipartisan case that traveled throughout northern New Jersey.
Three of the defendants were Democrats; two were Republican. Three were from Morris County and two were from Hudson.
Apparently connecting it all was Matt O’Donnell, a well-known Morristown attorney who was identified as a cooperating witness by the state AG’s office.
O’Donnell was not identified by name, but the AG’s office made no attempt at concealment, referring to the witness as the borough attorney in Mount Arlington. At the time of the reference, that was O’Donnell.
Since then, one of the defendants pleaded guilty and another had the charges dismissed. Another defendant is scheduled to be in court next week.
Both Cesaro, a former Morris freeholder, and Windish, who served on the Mount Arlington council, are accused of agreeing to support public legal work for the cooperating witness in exchange for bribes.
At the time, Windish was seeking re-election (he wound up losing) and Cesaro was considering running for Parsippany mayor, a race that’s happening now – without him.
The state’s case was turned upside down a few weeks ago when a judge in Hudson County threw out the bribery charges against a defendant because he was not a public official when the alleged offense occurred.
That ruling, however, would not impact Cesaro and Windish who were elected officials when the bribery allegedly happened.