Trenton New Jersey Mayor Arrested by FBI on Corruption Charges
The mayor of Trenton, New Jersey, Tony Mack, was arrested today in a corruption scandal that involves Mack allegedly receiving $119,000 in bribes. The money is linked to a city parking garage project, according to police.
Another arrest was also made in connection with the probe. Mack supporter Joseph Giorgianni, owner of JoJo’s Steakhouse, was arrested in his home. Mack’s brother, Ralphiel Mack, also surrendered to police.
“The investigation revealed evidence of a conspiracy among the defendants and other to corrupt certain functions of Trenton City government in favor of a purported developer seeking to building a parking garage on City-owned property in exchange for cash payments totaling approximate $119,000, a total of $54,000 that the defendants actually accepted in one way or another and another $65,000 that they anticipated accepting,” according to the complaint.
The FBI is claiming that they’ve been investigating Mack since 2010, right after he took office. They used quite a few wire taps and had two cooperating witnesses. Another Trenton city employee is involved in the investigation, but the feds declined to name him.
An FBI informant met with Giorgianni on September 14, 2010, claiming to be a developer seeking to build a parking garage in the city. The witness asked Mack for his help in getting the property in exchange for cash. Giorgianni helped him to set it all up.
“We want this,” Giorgianni said, according to the complaint. “What do you think we did all this for? I like to make money for my friends. I like to do it like the Boss Tweed way. You know Boss Tweed ran Tamany Hall?”
The conversations continued, and the FBI gathered its evidence. A group of citizens tried to recall Mayor Mack shortly after he was elected, but the recall effort failed.
“On April 18, 2011 at JoJo’s Steakhouse, Giorgianni stated that Tony F. Mack was interested in engaging in the corrupt transaction previously discussed ‘once this July thing’s over,’ referring to the efforts by certain Trenton citizens to recall Tony F. Mack,” the complaint states. “Giorgianni stated ‘Once that’s over, we’re ready to roll.”
The bribes began in October, 2011, with two envelopes containing $1,500 cash being handed over to Giorgianni. There was an understanding that Mack would receive one of the envelopes. Larger payments allegedly continued after that. The case is on-going, but the trial should reveal more about the inner workings of the Mack administration to determine if there was any wrong-doing.