Home>Campaigns>Rizzo trial ends for today, will resume on January 23

Former gubernatorial and congressional candidate Phil Rizzo appears in a small claims court hearing on December 5, 2022. (Photo: New Jersey Globe).

Rizzo trial ends for today, will resume on January 23

By David Wildstein, December 19 2022 3:57 pm

The first day of a small claims court trial of former congressional and gubernatorial candidate Phil Rizzo is now over and set to resume on January 23.

Anthony DeSpirito, the executive director of the Morris County Republican Committee, testified that he had verbal and written communications with two Rizzo for Congress campaign staffers where they agreed to pay $1,500 for a table at the March 4 GOP convention.

The county GOP organization filed a lawsuit after Rizzo failed to pay the fee.

The attorney for the Morris Republicans, Joseph Bell IV, entered emails into evidence that showed Rizzo staffers had indicated an agreement to the fee.    DeSpirito testified that Rizzo’s political director, Daniel Laucik, Jr., showed him proof of payment, but he later determined that the payment was never completed and what the Rizzo staffer showed him was not an actual proof of payment.

Reports filed by Rizzo with the Federal Election Commission did not indicate a payment for the table, or a debt to the GOP organization.

Rizzo has filed a counterclaim alleging that Morris Republicans never served a $600 ad that they had previously paid for.

An earlier court date of January 9 was rejected because Rizzo was unavailable.

Superior Court Judge David Weaver heard roughly 180 minutes of testimony and motions today.  He indicated that he might try to find a time slot before January 23 to accommodate the completion of the trial.


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