Councilman who allegedly flushed bribe cash gets 5 years
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A former northern New Jersey councilman who admitted taking $15,000 in bribes — and allegedly flushed some of the cash down the toilet when police came to arrest him — has been sentenced.
An Essex County judge sentenced Elias Chalet to five years on Thursday.
The 55-year-old former Bloomfield councilman will have to serve at least two years before he’s eligible for parole.
Chalet admitted soliciting the bribe from a business owner in exchange for ensuring the town would buy his property.
The business owner notified police, and recorded subsequent meetings where he gave Chalet cash.
When police sought to arrest Chalet after he accepted the final $5,000, he locked himself inside his office for 45 minutes.
Police believe he flushed the money down the toilet.