U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger and members of his staff will meet with Jersey City residents this month at the second in a series of town hall meetings.
The town hall will be held on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Temple Beth-El, 2419 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Jersey City, NJ, 07304.
Sellinger will discuss the work of his office in a variety of areas, including hate crimes, civil rights, protecting the community from violence and the opioid crisis, and protecting the environment.
Of fewer than 500 cases reported on by the office since Sellinger took over, 122 involved Financial Fraud, 100 pertained to drugs, 44 each were firearms offenses or violent crime.
Public corruption cases, Civil Rights matters, cybercrime, identity theft and immigration took up far less of Sellinger’s attention, while national security and environmental matters were few.
Public corruption cases under Sellinger most often involved corrections officers or police, rather than the sort of bribery or other offenses committed by federal, state, or local officials that comprised about 70 percent of such prosecutions by the Justice Department.
That might be unsurprising considering that the current U.S. Attorney was the biggest contributor to a legal defense fund set up for Sen. Bob Menendez, who was charged with bribery and corruption in an April 1, 2015 indictment handed up during the Obama administration.
This is a community event and is open to the public.
Before his 2021 appointment by President Joe Biden, Sellinger was a member of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee for Morris County and a prolific fundraiser for such politicians as Menendez and Sen. Cory Booker.
A check of the Federal Election Commission records show that Sellinger has personally contributed $332,595 to federal candidates over the last 20 years, mostly to Democrats but some Republicans, notably John McCain in his 2008 race against Barack Obama.
About $92,000 of that was contributed to Biden and other Democrats in the two years leading up to the election that preceded Sellinger’s appointment to the state’s top law enforcement position, which continues the appearance that the presidential appointee ‘bought his job’ jut as did Chris Christie, a one-time Bush Republican fundraising pioneer who used the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a launching pad for his gubernatorial campaign.
Sellinger reportedly earned more than $2.6 million in 2022, as the co-managing shareholder of the New Jersey office of Greenberg Traurig, a multinational law firm that is the 9th largest in the United States.
His financial disclosures show that Sellinger represented such large corporate clients as Microsoft Corporation, Canon Inc., Bed Bath & Beyond, Verizon, Live Nation, Global Tel Link Corporation, Berger Group Holdings, Marriott Ownership Resorts Inc., Weinberger Group, Adler Development, Physicians Reciprocal Insurers, and MMM Healthcare, Inc., as well as Canadian billionaire Abraham Reichmann.
Sellinger previously served as an assistant federal prosecutor from 1981 to 1984.
Another Sellinger client was RCN Corporation, the sixth-largest U.S. cable operator, which began rebranding as “Astound” in 2022, after a $8.1 billion acquisition by Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm.
Sellinger may have received tax benefits by filing a Certificate of Divestiture regarding the sale of 20,275 units of Delaware Business Trust-Ab Global Research Insights Series, shares in a hedge fund with about 850 beneficial owners and $425.5 million in assets under management. The sale transaction was valued between $500,001 and $1 million.
Documents filed with the Office of Government Ethics also list a multi-million stock portfolio, including shares in defense contractors, fossil fuel companies and other controversial businesses.
Sellinger and his wife, Barbara, reside in the Morris Township mansion named Sunnymede, which was the site of a prostitution raid in 1998, that resulted in the arrests of 15 men and four women, among them former Playboy bunny Judith Kelly Dempsey, once known as the “Morristown madam” for turning her mansion into an all-hours bordello called An Afternoon Delight.
Sellinger hosted then-Vice President Biden at the the 20-room Georgian Colonial home for a pricey March 19, 2012 fundraiser benefitting President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.