TRENTON, N.J., Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Trenton, N.J., Mayor Tony Mack was arrested Monday on charges he tried to extort bribes to grease a construction project in the city, federal authorities said.
Mack, 46, was caught up in an investigation conducted by the FBI, a release issue by the U.S. attorney's office revealed.
"The Macks, Giorgianni and others conspired to corrupt certain functions of Trenton city government in favor of a purported developer who was seeking to build a parking garage on a city-owned lot in Trenton," FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Ward said. "In reality, the developer was cooperating with federal authorities. During the course of the negotiations, which lasted almost two years, the defendants agreed to accept more than $119,000 in bribes, of which $54,000 had been paid at the time of their arrests."
Mack, campaign supporter Joseph "JoJo" Giorgianni and the mayor's brother, Ralphiel Mack, are linked to $119,000 in bribes allegedly paid in exchange for building a parking garage on public property, prosecutors said.
Giorgianni JoJo's Steak House in Trenton. Mack's brother coaches football at Trenton Central High School.
Giorgianni also was charged in a separate complaint along with eight other defendants with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone pills in the Trenton area, the federal prosecutors said in the release.
"Time and again, we have seen public officials in New Jersey who are all too willing to sell their power and betray the public's trust," U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said. "Here, the complaint charges that Mayor Mack and his co-conspirators were willing to let city property go for a fraction of its worth. And he allegedly chose as his middleman a convicted felon who was simultaneously heading a conspiracy to traffic in prescription medication."
Ward alleged it is a case of an elected official trying to enrich himself at the public's expense.
"The citizens of New Jersey's state capital deserve far better than politicians and cronies who aspire to the Boss Tweed-style, Tammany Hall politics of patronage, graft and corruption," Ward said.