Informants' missing texts argued in Ridgefield mayor trial

NEWARK - (AP) - The federal trial of a northern New Jerseymayor hasn't reached opening statements yet, and already a disputehas dominated the courtroom.

Defense attorneys for Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez claim thegovernment "cherry-picked" evidence when it failed to save alltext messages between an informant and FBI agents during lastyear's corruption and money laundering sting.

The informant, failed real estate speculator Solomon Dwek, madethousands of texts to agents before, during and after meetings withpublic officials. The government says many weren't saved because oflimited space on the FBI's servers.

The dispute delayed opening statements Monday.

Suarez and tax preparer Vincent Tabbachino face extortion and bribery charges.

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