Dave Warner, Chicago Tribune, February 7, 2014
Trenton Mayor Tony Mack was found guilty of federal extortion and bribery charges after being ensnared in a 2010 sting operation involving the development of a parking garage on city-owned property.
The would-be developers were, in fact, government informants.
Under the scheme, the developers would buy city property for the garage for $100,000 less than the value of the land, and the Democratic mayor of New Jersey’s capital city would receive money in exchange, prosecutors said.
A jury convicted Mack, 48, on all six charges of bribery, extortion and wire and mail fraud after eight hours of deliberation. He has remained in office during the trial.
City Council President George Muschal, a retired police officer, is expected to be sworn in as the new mayor.
The mayor’s brother Ralphiel was accused of acting as a bag man to pick up the bribe money and also was on trial. Prosecutors said the informants offered a bribe of $119,000, about $54,000 of which changed hands.
Arrested in September 2012, Mack has been accused by critics of nepotism and mismanagement since taking office in 2010 in the crime-plagued, economically depressed city of 85,000 people. He was reportedly deeply in debt at the time of his arrest.