Vas Investigation Advancing

PERTH AMBOY—Two bus loads of city employees were brought to give evidence about former Mayor Joseph Vas before a grand jury sitting in Trenton last week.

Sources say Carlos Serrano told the panel that he did not give contributions to Vas’ 2006 congressional campaign fund but when confronted with canceled checks from his bank account, he alleged that he was given the money by Ray Geneske, a school board member who was Democratic Party chairman and a key adviser to Vas at the time.

Serrano, Geneske and Vas did not comment on the allegations and officials do not release details about testimony given to grand juries.

Reports filed with the Federal Election Commission by the Vas for Congress Committee indicate that Carlos Serrano, who was employed by the City of Perth Amboy as a housing inspector, gave to the campaign fund $500 on May 16, 2006 and another $1,500 on May 17, 2006.

Additional grand jury testimony was expected to be taken Tuesday, March 10 and again Friday, March 13.

The grand jury investigation and leaks about potential crimes could not have come at a worse time for Vas, who is a state assemblyman fighting for his political survival in the wake of his ouster as Mayor of Perth Amboy after eighteen years in office.

South Amboy Mayor Jack O’Leary will seek the Democratic State Assembly nomination when the Middlesex County Democratic organization decides which candidates will run on the party line at a March 25 convention. Assemblyman John Wisniewski of Sayreville is the other the incumbent, but observers expect him to easily win support for another term.

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