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N.J. political operative pleads guilty to hiring hit men to kill former associate

By Rich Klein

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- A political consultant from New Jersey has admitted that he hired two men to kill an associate eight years ago in a strange murder-for-hire scheme, authorities said Tuesday.

The consultant, Sean Caddle, had a large stable of Democratic politicians in New Jersey as clients, including Sen. Robert Menendez.

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Caddle, 44, pleaded guilty to hiring two men to kill the former associate, who was not identified in the court documents but is believed to be Michael Galdieri, a former Jersey City Council candidate and son of late state Sen. James A. Galdieri.

Galdieri was found stabbed to death inside his home in 2014 and his apartment was set on fire. Authorities said Caddle's victim died in the same manner.

Federal authorities, however, did not detail a motive for the killing.

"This was a callous and violent crime, and this defendant is as responsible as the two men who wielded the knife," U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger said in a statement.

Officials have not yet named the men who killed Galdieri, 52.

According to Sellinger, Caddle paid a hit man from Connecticut thousands of dollars -- who then recruited the other perpetrator from Philadelphia, who was paid later.

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Caddle, who at one time was also an aide to New Jersey state Sen. Ray Lesniak, faces life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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