Former adviser in corruption case avoids prison

(AP) - A former political consultant who pleaded guilty in New Jersey's largest corruption sting has avoided prison for that crime and a probation violation.A

NEWARK - (AP) - A former political consultant who pleaded guilty in New Jersey's largest corruption sting has avoided prison for that crime and a probation violation.

A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced Ronald Manzo to three years' probation for extortion conspiracy and five months' home confinement for the probation violation.

Manzo admitted being a middleman between a government informant posing as a corrupt developer and a northern New Jersey mayor. His testimony helped convict former Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell last fall.

At the time of the 2009 meetings, Manzo was on probation in an insider trading case.

Attorney Peter Willis says Manzo has become a pariah in Hudson County for testifying against Elwell.

Former Jersey City housing inspector John Guarini faces sentencing later Tuesday for tax evasion in connection with the sting.

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