Former Secaucus mayor Dennis Elwell has returned home following a 30-month stay in federal prison.
Elwell was found guilty of accepting a bribe from a federal informant in a statewide sting in 2009 and was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in 2011. He returned to his North End home last month, according to a lengthy profile in The Hudson Reporter.
Elwell is interviewed and describes his time in prison, his frustration with the bad food, poor medical care and the mishandling of his early release paperwork.
The article indicates that Elwell may have believed the $10,000 was actually a campaign contribution and that he planned to return the funds. However, he does own up to making mistakes leading to his arrest.
“I made a mistake. When I was told to hold the money, I did. It was a stupid thing to do. I admitted as much on the stand. Some of the money was supposed to go to a charity.”
A Vietnam veteran with no previous record, Elwell was one of 44 public officials arrested on July 23, 2009. The bribe was accepted through Ronald Manzo, who went on to testify against Elwell.