Tuesday, February 22, 2005

New Jersey: 8 local and county officials and 3 mayors in New Jersey were arrested by the FBI for extortion.

"NEWARK, N.J. -- Three mayors and eight other local and county officials in Monmouth County were arrested Tuesday, charged in a corruption sting by federal authorities. Ten officials were accused of extorting cash bribes and free work from a contractor who was working undercover for the FBI, and the other official was charged with money laundering, federal prosecutors said. Among those arrested were the mayors of Hazlet, Keyport and West Long Branch, according to the U.S. attorney's office for New Jersey. Arrested were Keyport Mayor John J. Merla; Keyport Councilman Robert L. Hyer; Middletown Committeeman Raymond O'Grady; Hazlet Mayor Mark P. Calnan; West Long Branch Mayor Paul Zambrano; West Long Branch Councilman Joseph DeLisa; Asbury Park Councilman John J. Hamilton; Neptune Deputy Mayor Richard Iadanza; Joseph McCurnin, operations manager for the Monmouth County Division of Transportation; Patsy Townsend, deputy fire marshal for Monmouth County; and Thomas Broderick, assistant supervisor, Monmouth County Division of Highways. All but Broderick are charged with extortion by an official. Broderick was charged with money laundering. Both charges carry up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000."

Corruption in New Jersey is not an aberration, it's a way of life.

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