Former New Jersey Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt, left, walks with his attorney Robert Fuggi Jr. as they leave the Clarkson S. Fisher Federal Courthouse last Wednesday in Trenton. Van Pelt is accused of accepting a $10,000 payment to influence a development project in his hometown of Waretown. Mel Evans, Associated Press

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.

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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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