N.J. Mayor’s Home Raided
July 19, 2012 by staff
N.J. Mayor’s Home Raided, FBI agents staged a middle-of-the-night raid Wednesday at the home of Trenton’s mayor, whose administration of the state’s impoverished capital city has been marked by accusations of cronyism and reckless spending. They also searched the home of his brother and a convicted sex offender who was one of his biggest early campaign donors.
Mayor Tony Mack, emerging later in the morning from his home, denied having corrupted his office.
“We have not violated the public trust nor have I violated any of my public duties, and that’s all I have to say on the matter,” he said.
The FBI declined to provide any details on its investigation.
Mack’s administration has been in turmoil from Day 1, staggering from one crisis to another. A housecleaning of staff at City Hall opened the door for Mack’s own appointees, who quickly turned it into a revolving door. Some left over questions about their credentials, others to face criminal charges.
Under an agreement reached last year, the Democrat can hire department heads only from a pool of applicants the state offers or he risks losing $6 million in state aid.
Two years after winning office, questions have also lingered about how Mack financed his campaign at a time of personal financial problems. His home and other properties have faced foreclosure.
One of his early backers was businessman Joseph Giorgianni, who went to prison in the 1980s on charges of carnally abusing and debauching the morals of a 14-year-old girl in the back of his sandwich shop. The case gained notoriety because of weight-related health problems that got Giorgianni, a steakhouse owner who once claimed to tip the scale at over 500 pounds, released and led a prosecutor to charge he “ate his way out of jail.”
Tax records showed Giorgianni’s home was one of the other addresses searched by the FBI, along with the home of the mayor’s brother, Ralphiel Mack, a high school football coach.
Phone messages left for both on Wednesday were not returned.
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