Asbury Park Press


With a corruption indictment announced last week, US Senator Robert Menendez has become the latest in a long line of senior New Jersey elected officials to be hit by a corruption scandal or accusations.

The Democrat denies doing anything illegal.

Here’s a look at some of the biggest and most recent political scandals, corruption charges, and resignations to affect a state where politicians have less than perfect pictures.

1804: Vice President Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, who had been the country’s first Treasury Secretary and whose face still appears on the $ 10 bill, duel at Weehawken. He kills Hamilton. Burr, originally from New Jersey, is charged with murder but has never been tried.

Early 1980s: US Senator Harrison “Pete” Williams, US Representative Frank Thompson and Camden Mayor Angelo Errichetti, also a member of the State Assembly, all among the officials convicted in the “Abscam” case “, which involved accepting bribes from claiming Arab sheikhs.

1984: Michael Matthews, the first mayor of Atlantic City elected by the city’s voters, loses the seat in a recall election and pleads guilty to extortion. He has served more than five years in prison.

2000: Camden Mayor Milton Milan is convicted of a wide range of corrupt acts including being compensated by the mob, using city contractors to do free work in his house, to launder the money of a drug dealer, to use vehicles provided free by a tow. entrepreneur, using campaign money for a trip to Puerto Rico and selling a stolen computer. He spent almost six years in prison.

2002: Just five weeks before election day, Senator Robert Torricelli, a Democrat, abandons his re-election efforts in light of a warning from the Senate Ethics Committee, which investigated allegations he accepted gifts from a campaign contributor. He has not been charged with any crime.

2004: Governor Jim McGreevey announces that he is a “gay American”, that he had an affair with a male staff member and that he would resign from his post. He has not been charged with any crime.

2008: Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James, a Democrat who also served in the state Senate, is convicted of leading a land deal with a woman who was his girlfriend at the time. He spent 18 months in federal prison. That same year, State Senator Wayne Bryant was convicted in another corruption trial of accepting “weak” public jobs to fill his government pension.

2009: In the case known as “Bid Rig”, the largest corruption case in state history, 46 political, business and religious leaders are arrested. In the end, 34 of them plead guilty, four are convicted by jurors, two are found not guilty and one dies before trial.

2014: Federal authorities announce they are investigating whether laws were broken during lane closures near the George Washington Bridge. Assistant to Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, emailed a New York and New Jersey Port Authority official before they started, “It’s time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee . ” An attorney for Christie and a report from state lawmakers found no wrongdoing on Christie’s part. It is not known when the criminal investigation will be completed.

2014: U.S. Representative Rob Andrews, under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for using campaign money for a series of trips, resigns to work at a law firm. He has not been charged with any crime.

2014: Trenton Mayor Tony Mack is convicted of accepting bribes under a bogus land contract. He is serving a sentence of almost five years in federal prison.

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