NEWARK, N.J., Sept. 6 (UPI) -- An FBI sting operation on corruption netted 11 arrests Thursday in New Jersey, including two state legislators, a mayor and members of a school board.
The chief of staff to the president of the Newark City Council was also among those arrested, U.S. Attorney Chris Christie said.
The investigation began with a tip that members of the board of education in Pleasantville, near Atlantic City, were corrupt, Christie said. The FBI set up an insurance brokerage with informants and agents posing as employees.
Assemblyman Alfred Steele, also a Passaic County under sheriff, allegedly took $17,000 in payments, while Assemblyman and Orange Mayor Mims Hackett allegedly took $5,000 as an installment of a $25,000 bribe. Passaic Mayor Samuel Rivera allegedly got a $5,000 bribe. All three are Democrats.
Former Passaic Councilman Jonathan Soto allegedly not only took $12,500 in payments for steering contracts in his city but offered to help business owners elsewhere, investigators claimed.