BLOOMFIELD — First Ward Bloomfield Councilman Elias Chalet was arrested by the New Jersey State Police at his Broad Street real estate office Monday afternoon, Nov. 16, according to State Police spokesman Sgt. 1st Class Gary Williams.
Chalet was charged with bribery and violation of official duty and incarcerated in the Essex County Correctional Facility. Bail was set at $100,000.
Mayor Michael Venezia said he understood files had been removed from Chalet’s office. Chalet is a Realtor.
“I’m still in shock,” Venezia said Tuesday afternoon in a telephone interview. “He was arrested for second-degree bribery. From what I heard, nothing official, it had to do with the Getty gas station on East Passaic Avenue. The township was in the process of purchasing it.”
According to the Bloomfield tax assessor’s office, the gas station, located at 714-720 E. Passaic Ave., is owned by Antra Group, LLC, located at 149 Bryd Ave.
“It feels like a bad dream,” Venezia said. “I don’t know what his mindset was.” Venezia said he understood Chalet was having a bail hearing Tuesday night.
“He might be out already,” the mayor said. “I can see some people doing it, but not Eli. You never know about people.” What supposedly led to the bribery charge, Venezia said, had occurred in September. “I assume his office was tapped in September,” he said. “And I heard there was a video.”
The Bloomfield Police Department had no comment.