Thursday, September 06, 2007

Name That Party: New Jersey Corruption Edition

The FBI has arrested 11 politicians around the state in one of the larger corruption arrests in recent years - and that's even by New Jersey standards. has learned that several of the officials were allegedly caught accepting payoffs from undercover agents in a sting operation. Others were charged as part of related corruption investigations. The accused officials served in at least three counties, including Essex, Atlantic and Passaic.

Sources told that those charged include Passaic Mayor Sammy Rivera, Passaic Council members Jonathan Soto and Marcellus Jackson, Orange Mayor Mims Hackett and Passaic Assemblyman Alfred Steele.

Officials said one of those charged was Passaic Mayor Sammy Rivera. Two Passaic Council members have also been charged, sources told

The charges are just the latest in dozens of corruption-related arrests across New Jersey in recent years. Christie and Newark FBI Director Weysan Dun have said after terrorism investigations, public corruption remains a top priority.

Of course, what's lacking is the political affiliation of these politicians.

This is how you're supposed to identify the politicians. Should it surprise anyone that some of the reports lack that tiny detail?

New Jersey and corruption: Perfect Together

(HT: anonymous emailer).

Just so we're clear:
Among those charged are Samuel Rivera, the mayor of Passaic; Assemblyman Mims Hackett, Jr., who is also the mayor of Orange; Assemblyman Rev. Alfred E. Steele, from Paterson; and Keith Reid, the chief of staff to Newark City Council President Mildred Crump. All of them are Democrats.

The probe also netted two Passaic City Councilmen - Marcellus Jackson and Jonathon Soto - and five of the nine members of the Pleasantville School Board, which is enough for a quorum.
The Record notes the political affiliation of some of those arrested, but not all.

The AP squib, picked up by the Times, notes the political affiliations. Good. It's not that difficult once you get the hang of it.

Welcome Don Surber and Instapundit readers! Thanks for stopping by.

Here's the deal on what these 11 were arrested for by the FBI:
A recent investigation by an independent law firm accused past and present school board members of violating the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

The former and currant school officials arrested were Jayson Adams and board members Maurice "Pete" Calloway; James McCormick, James Pressley and Rafael Velez.

A 12th suspect, Louis Mister, was arrested and charged with accepting a $3,000 bribe on behalf of Calloway, authorities said.

The defendants face court appearances in Trenton this afternoon, after which Christie and FBI Special Agent in Charge Weysan Dun will hold a 3:30 press conference to discuss the charges.

The officials are accused of accepting the following amounts, according to sources, who requested anonymity:

James Pressley - $32,000
Jayson Adams - $25,000
Marcellus Jackson - $16,500
Rafael Velez - $14,000
Rev. Alfred E. Steele - $14,000
Maurice "Pete" Calloway - $13,000
Jonathon Soto - $12,500
Keith Reid - $10,000
Mims Hackett, Jr. - $5,000
Samuel Rivera - $5,000
James McCormick- $3,500
Those officials are being accused of accepting bribes to steer public contracts to companies that offered insurance brokerage or roofing services to school districts and municipalities. Note also that Pleasantville is an Abbott District, which means it gets additional state funding for education, and has gone through more than a dozen administrators in the past 10 years. Something is definitely rotten in Pleasantville, which means that the students of the district have suffered the worst from the mismanagement and corruption.

This is rich. One of those arrested today, Passaic Mayor Sam Rivera, is a major player in Sen. Clinton's NJ presidential campaign.
Among the 11 public officials arrested in an F.B.I. corruption sting in New Jersey today was a leading Democratic supporter of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign in that state, Mayor Samuel Rivera of Passaic.

It was the latest legal embarrassment involving an ally of the Clinton campaign, coming only one day after a wealthy Clinton donor, Norman Hsu, missed his court date in a California fraud case and apparently disappeared.

Clinton advisers this spring and summer have been aggressively touting their long list of endorsements from elected officials and prominent Democratic donors, to indicate the breadth of establishment support that Mrs. Clinton enjoys. Yet, in the case of Mr. Hsu and now Mayor Rivera, the criminal allegations indicate a cost that can come with quickly rounding up political support from far and wide.

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