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Over A Dozen N.J. mayors were forced from office over criminal charges in the Last Decade

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October 1,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, New Jersey has a long and proud history of public corruption.  A dozen Garden State mayors who have been forced to resign over the past decade due to criminal convictions. Mostly Democrats (10) ,but a few Republicans trying to get in on the action .

Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres, a Democrat, pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiracy to commit official misconduct for having employees with the Department of Public Works perform work for the mayor and his family members while bilking the city out of overtime. Torres follows a long line of Mayoral criminality .

Passaic Mayor Alex Blanco, a Democrat, was sentenced in April to more than two years in prison after pleading guilty to a federal bribery charge for soliciting $110,000 in bribes from developers in exchange for sending federal housing funds their way.

Passaic Mayor Samuel “Sammy” Rivera, a Democrat, pleaded guilty in 2008 to extortion for accepting $5,000 in cash from an insurance brokerage firm. Rivera, who was among 11 public officials swept up in a statewide FBI sting, was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Newark Mayor Sharpe James, a Democrat, was convicted in 2008 on federal fraud and conspiracy charges for helping a woman described as his mistress buy nine plots in a city redevelopment zone, among other acts of wrongdoing. James was sentenced to 27 months in prison.

Trenton Mayor Tony Mack, a Democrat, was sentenced in May 2014 to nearly five years in prison in connection with a $119,000 bribery scheme linked to a parking garage project operated by FBI informants.

Hamilton Mayor John Bencivengo, a Democrat, was released from prison in December 2014 after serving more than 18 months in federal prison. He was sentenced to 38 months in prison for accepting $12,400 in bribes from Marliese Ljuba, a close friend and health insurance broker for the school district.

Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammaranno, a Democrat, was among 44 people swept up in Operation Bid Rig. Cammarano, who’d been in office for only 22 days before his arrest, was sentenced in August 2010 to two years in prison, and later disbarred.

Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell, a Democrat, was sentenced in April 2012 to two-and-a-half years in prison after he was convicted of accepting $10,000 in cash through a middleman from Solomon Dwek, as part of Operation Bid Rig. Elwell, who resigned from his position shortly after his arrest, later lost an appeal challenging his conviction.

Northvale Mayor Paul Bazela, a Democrat and a former foreman for the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, pleaded guilty to theft in March 2016 to having his workers perform renovations at the home of the commission’s former superintendent, Kevin Keogh, while on agency time. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

Guttenberg Mayor David Delle Donna, a Democrat, and his wife were each sentenced in 2008 to more than four years in prison for accepting more than $40,000 in gifts and cash campaign contributions from a local bar owner.

Of coarse Democrats don’t have all the fun ;

Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas, a Republican, was sentenced to five years in prison for fraud in connection with a $1.2 million farm deal. Convicted on charges of wire fraud, an illegal monetary transaction, loan application fraud, false statements to the IRS, aggravated identity theft, obstruction of a grand jury investigation and falsification of records in a federal investigation.

Chesterfield Mayor Lawrence Durr, a Republican, was sentenced in April 2016 to four years probation after he admitted to filing false ethics disclosure forms that failed to disclose his financial relationship with a real estate developer. Durr was accused in an indictment of selling development rights on his farm to Renaissance Properties at a profit and then using his official positions to advance the company’s interests in Chesterfield.

5 thoughts on “Over A Dozen N.J. mayors were forced from office over criminal charges in the Last Decade

  1. Seems to be the way they make money after convincing everyone that they’re there for the people.
    Anyone who doesn’t keep an eye on their Mayor and Council members is just aiding the corruption.

    1. you mean like you keep an eye on Aronsohn?

  2. Thank goodness there are citizens who keep an eye on the elected officials in this town. There has been so much corruption and there still is. In recent memory we had Aronsohn who killed the job for a candidate he did not like, manipulated the press to the point of having letters that opposed him pulled before they could be printed, and has an ethics violation pending against him for using public funds to promote his ridiculous parking garage. Now we have his little protege Voigt who has had criminal charges against him (for which probable cause was found, and although the charges were dropped, he was not found NOT GUILTY as he is claiming), who talks to the press more than he talks to his own face in the mirror, and for whom there are more troubles brewing (according to the ear-to-the-ground sources). What next.

  3. Jeff reads the BLOG before he gets out of bed in the morning.

  4. I checked the score Democrats 10 Republicans 2. Another win for the Democrats in New Jersey.

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