This weekend, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Trenton, New Jersey Mayor Tony Mack sought cash payments from two brothers who own towing companies in exchange for squelching efforts by code enforcement to make sure ordinances were enforced at their businesses. Mack goes to trial tomorrow in an alleged bribery scheme and government attorneys are working in the last hours on five “bad acts” that show corruption by Mack.
The schemes were orchestrated on his behalf by Joseph “JoJo” Giorgianni and others. A motion filed yesterday by government attorneys asks Judge Michael A. Shipp to allow testimony about corruption outside the parking garage scheme he is being tried for. No criminal charges have been filed against Mayor Tony Mack or his brother Ralphiel.
“All of the corrupt endeavors pertaining to Tony Mack and/or Ralphiel Mack, and Giorgianni … involved conduct similar to the conduct in the parking garage scheme — Mayor Mack, principally through Giorgianni, sought to obtain money from others in exchange for Mayor Mack’s official influence and/or exercise of his authority,” wrote the government attorneys. “Moreover, all of this conduct occurred around the same time as the conduct set forth in this indictment and, therefore, has heightened probative value.”
Sting operations run by the FBI allegedly caught former city employee Charles Hall III, Giorgianni and the Mack brothers extorting cash from parking garage developers. The developers were actually government informants. Using the code words “Uncle Remus” to refer to cash and Giorgianni’s role as a buffer are the similarities between the five “bad acts” that show corruption and will likely be highlighted by the prosecution.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin tomorrow as well as hearings on the government motion and a defense motion that alleges entrapment by Giorgianni after Giorgianni discovered FBI surveillance in 2011. On Sept. 10, 2012, Giorgianni, Mayor Mack and his brother were arrested; they were indicted that December. Giorgianni pleaded guilty last month and It remains to be seen whether he will testify for the prosecution.
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