A letter from the U.S. Department of Justice sent to District 2 Freeholder Bill O’Dea indicates that District 7 Freeholder Jose Munoz was never a target of a federal investigation.
The February 11 letter, written by FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford and signed by Supervisory Special Agent James F. Di Orio, is sent in response to O’Dea’s “request for information regarding the relationship between Freeholder Jose Munoz and this office in connection with the investigation of West New York Mayor Felix Roque, and his son, Joseph Roque.”
The letter states goes on to state that Munoz was never being looked into for any alleged wrongdoing by federal law enforcement.
“Mr. Munoz provided information in support of the investigation voluntarily and on his own initiative,” the letter says. “He was not a subject or target of a federal law enforcement investigation.”
Munoz sent a written statement to Hudson County TV in reaction to the letter.
“It’s difficult when not everyone believes you, but I feel publicly vindicated and would like to thank Freeholder O’Dea for his perseverance in obtaining an answer to his question and to the FBI for responding to his request,” Munoz wrote.
“No doubt political colleagues, some members of the general public, and perhaps even a few acquaintances have wondered whether they were being taped at some point prior to my being asked to tape a conversation of the well-known meeting with Mayor Roque, Public Figure #1, and Public Figure #2.”
Munoz went on to say that Mayor Roque and his attorney have been unwilling to release a copy of the audio tape in question.
The West New York mayor and his son were on trial for unauthorized access to a computer (hacking) and conspiracy charges in late September into early October, with the government alleging that the father and son duo hacked into the website Recallroque.com.
The website, which was critical of Mayor Roque and his administration, was registered under the name Maria Pasquale, which turned out to be an alias for Munoz.
Mayor Roque was acquitted of the charges while his son Joseph was sentenced to one-year probation for the computer hacking charge two weeks ago.
Due to the late hour of the story being published, HCTV did not reach out to O’Dea or Roque for comment on the matter.
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Click on letter to enlarge