Tuesday, July 24, 2012

FBI Investigation of Trenton Mayor Mack Continues

Last week, I noted that the FBI was carrying out searches of Trenton Mayor Tony Mack, a Democrat. Those searches included stops at his home, office, and his brother. At the time, the FBI wasn't saying what they were looking for.

Today, they've announced that they're looking into bribery, fraud, extortion and money laundering charges.
Federal authorities also are investigating vendor contracts with the city, during a time frame that stretches nearly to the day Mack took office, the documents show.

The FBI investigation became public last week when agents conducted raids on Mack’s home and City Hall, among others.

Agents last week also searched the Ewing home of Joseph “JoJo” Giorgianni, who donated nearly $5,000 to Mack’s campaign during the run-up to the 2010 election.

Giorgianni is named in the documents as well, with federal authorities searching for records of any correspondence between him and city officials.

Nearly 30 agents searched City Hall on Thursday and left carrying boxes, milk crates, computers and documents. Officials have not said what the authorities found.

The FBI could not be reached for comment last night, and a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

Mack is out of town on a vacation and is due back Monday, and a message left on his cell phone last night was not immediately returned. The mayor has not been charged with a crime, and it’s unknown if Mack has hired a lawyer.

City business administrator Sam Hutchinson, who has stepped in as acting mayor in Mack’s absence, could not be reached for comment on the FBI probe last night. “We’re just steering the ship while the captain’s away,” Hutchinson had said earlier yesterday.

The scope of the FBI’s search for evidence is in line with what opponents such as George Dougherty, an attorney representing a former city employee in a whistle-blower lawsuit against Mack, have been alleging since Mack took office.
Mack is currently on vacation for a couple of weeks (he's scheduled to return July 30), and has left the business administrator Sam Hutchinson in charge. Among the issues that critics have had with Mack is that he's replaced a bunch of those business administrators and put his cronies in charge of city operations at a time when the city can ill afford it (as if any city can really afford cronyism).

No comments: