2 April 2015
US Senator Robert Menendez was indicted by a federal grand jury on corruption and bribery charges on Wednesday. He was charged with accepting gifts and campaign contributions from his long-time friend Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist, over a period of seven years. According to a Justice Department statement, the senator used his public office to influence the outcome of Melgen’s contractual and Medicare billing disputes. Dr. Melgen collected more than $20 million from Medicare in 2012.
Dr. Salomon Melgen was also charged with corruption.
Senator Menendez said that he was outraged by charges. Menendez added that his political career had started with a fight against corruption and promised that “this is not how my career is going to end.” He was confident that in the end he would be vindicated and the Justice Department would be proved wrong. He maintained that the charges against him were merely a political “smear campaign”.
Mendez had acknowledged that he took several round trips to Dominican Republic on Melgen’s luxury jet. Initially these trips were not fully reimbursed.
A Menendez spokesman said that the senator would not step down from the Foreign Relations Committee. Menendez is scheduled to appear Thursday in federal court in Newark.