Key Player in Jersey Corruption Probe Found Dead

A player in the corruption scandal that rocked New Jersey last week has been found dead.

Jack M. Shaw, 61, a Hudson County political consultant who was among 44 people arrested last week in the wide-ranging probe into political corruption and money laundering, was found dead this afternoon.  The only question is the cause of death.  Homicide has been ruled out, according to law enforcement officials.

Sources said Shaw was found with a bottle of pills next to his body at his Jersey City home.  However it is not clear yet if he suffered a heart attack or may have committed suicide.

Hudson County Prosecutor Ed DeFazio confirmed that "no weapon was found" in his home.

EMS crews arrived a the home shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday, and he was pronounced dead an hour later.

Shaw was accused of being a middleman for Solomon Dwek, the cooperating witness who implicated three mayors and scores of others in the scams. 

According to a federal criminal complaint, Shaw had met with the FBI's secret informant and others nine times at diners and restaurants in New Jersey from February through April 2009. 

Along for two of those meetings was an unnamed "high-ranking elected official in Jersey City" called only "JC Official 4."  Sources have identified this official as Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing.  Healy subsequently acknowledged that he is "JC Official 4" and has repeatedly said that he has done nothing wrong.
Shaw accepted $10,000 from the informant on their first recorded meeting, February 17th, after a conversation about furthering the informant's real estate interests in Jersey City,  the document shows.  Shaw boasted in that first meeting about having a "very good relationship" with Healy and said that the informant had to meet him, the complaint says.  Shaw said he could "deal with {Healy}" with "the green" -- referring to cash payments -- according to the document.  In their next meeting, on March 11th, Shaw told the informant that Healy would help with real estate approvals, the complaint says.
In Healy's first meeting with Shaw, the informant and another defendant on March 13th, the mayor is not quoted, the document shows.  However in an April 30th meeting, after the informant promised more payments, Healy said "that hopefully 'we' could work 'together' and that this would be "mutually beneficial,' " the complaint says.

Alice McQuillan contributed to this report

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