TRENTON - The defense has rested in the trial of a former New Jersey lawmaker accused of corruption.

Closing arguments in former Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt's trial are set for Monday.

The final defense witness testified Thursday that Van Pelt talked of becoming a consultant before accepting a $10,000 payment in February 2009.

Van Pelt is charged with bribery and extortion for accepting a white envelope filled with $100 bills from FBI informant Solomon Dwek. Posing as a phony developer, Dwek approached Van Pelt for help securing state permits for a redevelopment project.

Van Pelt maintains the cash was a consulting retainer fee.

He says the developer didn't need his help because the Waretown town center had been tagged for streamlined permits.

 

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