Corruption Trial Begins Today for Ridgefield Mayor

Suarez has refused to step down

Monday, Oct 4, 2010  |  Updated 10:12 AM EDT
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Corruption Trial Begins Today for Ridgefield Mayor

(AP Photo/Mel Evans

Ridgefield, N.J., Mayor Anthony R. Suarez, center, is walked Thursday, July 23, 2009, in Newark, N.J., to a waiting bus outside FBI offices after being arrested. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

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Opening statements are scheduled to begin in the third trial stemming from last year's huge federal corruption sting.

Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez and tax preparer Vincent Tabbachino are due in federal court in Newark for openings statements Monday morning.

Both men face face extortion and bribery charges, and Tabbachino also is accused of money laundering.

Suaraz and Tabbachino were among 44 people arrested last July. They're accused of taking money from a government informant facing federal bank fraud charges who posed as a corrupt developer.

Suarez, a Democrat, survived a recall election this summer and is the only elected official arrested last year who is still in office.

Two earlier corruption trials produced convictions.

Earlier this year, the Borough Council in Ridgefield voted 4-to-2 for a resolution to have Suarez resign.  But Suarez had refused to step down, and in a statement he said he was not involved in the scandal and will "ultimately be exonerated."

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