NEWARK, N.J. – A former New Jersey state lawmaker has been acquitted of extortion, bribery and money laundering charges in the state's largest corruption sting.
Former Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith embraced his attorneys as the verdict was read Thursday in Newark federal court. The jury had deliberated for two days at his trial.
Prosecutors accused Smith of taking $15,000 from a government informant who posed as a developer.
Smith's attorney said his client had intended to return all the money and was duped by an elaborate government sting.
Smith's trial was the first in which jurors didn't hear testimony from the government's informant, Solomon Dwek.
About half of the 46 people arrested last year have pleaded guilty.