Trenton Mayor Tony Mack
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TRENTON, N.J. — Federal agents arrested the mayor of New Jersey's capital city early Monday as part of an ongoing corruption investigation into bribery allegations related to a parking garage project.
Trenton Mayor Tony Mack, his brother, Ralphiel, and convicted sex offender Joseph Giorgianni, a Mack supporter, were accused of conspiring to obstruct, delay and affect interstate commerce by extortion under color of official right.
Federal prosecutors alleged Mack agreed to use his influence in connection with a proposed parking garage project in the city.
Federal agents began investigating Mack and the others in September 2010. Mack had become mayor in July.
The defendants received $54,000 and anticipated accepting another $65,000 from a cooperating witness who purported to be a developer, court documents said.
Mack was taken to an FBI office in Hamilton for processing.
Mack's administration has been in turmoil from Day 1, staggering from one crisis to another. A housecleaning of staff at City Hall opened the door for Mack's own appointees, who quickly turned it into a revolving door.
Under an agreement reached last year, the Democrat can hire department heads only from a pool of applicants the state offers or he risks losing $6 million in state aid.
One of his early backers was Giorgianni. The businessman went to prison in the 1980s on charges of carnally abusing and debauching the morals of a 14-year-old girl in the back of his sandwich shop. The case gained notoriety because of weight-related health problems that got Giorgianni, a steakhouse owner who once claimed to tip the scale at over 500 pounds, released and led a prosecutor to charge he "ate his way out of jail."