Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic) strongly praised his former chief of staff, Passaic Mayor Hector Lora, for instantaneously reporting an attempt to bribe him.
“Hector is a very special guy,” Schaer told the New Jersey Globe. “He is a minister. He is a good man.”
Omid Bayati, who served as an aide to former Assembly Minority Leader Paul DiGaetano, was charged this week with offering Lora and former Fair Lawn Mayor John Cosgrove money in exchange for a promotion at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Authority where the two are commissioners.
Schaer, the Passaic City Council President, praised Lora as having “two feet strongly on the ground.”
“I’m very proud Hector did what he should have done. It’s reassuring,” Schaer said. “He is without a doubt the best mayor Passaic has ever had.”
Cosgrove also reported the attempted bribe to law enforcement and told the NJ Globe that he wore a wire as part of the state attorney general’s office investigation of Bayati.
Lora said today that he and Cosgrove did not speak to each other about the probe during the process that ended with state prosecutors charging Bayati this week.
Bayati’s mentor, DiGaetano, had been the longtime Passaic City Council President before moving to Nutley in attempt to shed the Democratic stronghold from his legislative district.
After DiGaetano left the legislature to run unsuccessfully for governor, Schaer ran for Assembly and flipped the 36th district seat to the Democratic column.