A juror dismissed from Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s corruption case predicted that the trial will end in a hung jury, going on to say she thought Menendez was being railroaded.
Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby, 61, was dismissed from the trial Thursday for a long-planned vacation, the New York Post reported. She told reporters before she left that she believed Menendez was innocent of every charge, but that the jury would be unable to reach a verdict. Menendez faces decades in prison if convicted, and the embattled senator would likely welcome a hung jury if not a full acquittal.
“If I would have stayed on the jury, he would have been ‘not guilty’ on every charge,” Arroyo-Maultsby said. “To me, they were railroading him. It looks like a hung jury.”
Menendez stands charged with using his office to further the business interests of long-time friend Dr. Salomon Melgen, who was convicted in April of stealing $105 million through Medicare fraud between 2008 and 2013. Records show the senator accepted several campaign donations from Melgen, including vacations to Paris and the Dominican Republic.
Prosecutors allege that Menendez repeatedly met with then-Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and acting Medicare administrator Marilyn Tavenner to intercede on Melgen’s behalf in Medicare disputes.
Arroyo-Maultsby argued that Menendez should not be faulted for taking his friend on trips due to their relationship.
“This is his friend,” the juror said. “If this man wants to take him on any flight and that’s his friend, why does it have to be a gift?”
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