Trenton, N.J. Mayor Found Guilty of Extortion, Bribery

By Vince Lattanzio
|  Monday, Feb 10, 2014  |  Updated 5:47 AM EDT
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A court hearing will be held today regarding corrupt Trenton Mayor Tony Mack.

NBC10.com

A court hearing will be held today regarding corrupt Trenton Mayor Tony Mack.

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Trenton Council President Takes Over Mayor Convicted

Trenton's City Council President will be sworn in as interim mayor after Tony Mack was found guilty of bribery, extortion and fraud on Friday. NBC10's Keith Jones talks to the man who will be replacing Mack.

Trenton's Mayor Guilty of Corruption

Trenton Mayor Tony Mack didn't utter a word as he walked out of a federal courthouse on Friday after being found guilty on six corruption charges.
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Tony Mack, the mayor of Trenton, N.J., the state's capital city, has been found guilty of extortion, bribery and fraud after a month long federal corruption trial.

On Friday evening, jurors came back with guilty verdicts on all six counts levied against the 48-year-old. The trial started in January. Jurors only deliberated for one full day before delivering the verdict.

Mack didn't say a word as he walked from the federal courthouse in the capital city. His attorney, Mark Davis, said jurors made the wrong decision and that they're looking at an appeal.

"That was the wrong verdict that the jury reached," Davis said. "Clearly they believed testimony that they should have never believed."

Mack and his brother, Raphiel, were nabbed in a government sting where officials said the men conspired to accept $119,000 in cash and valuables in exchange for the development of an automated parking garage.

Prosecutors say the men were planning to direct $100,000 from the sale of a city-owned vacant lot on East State Street into their own cauffers.

Davis, the mayor's lawyer, had argued Mack was the victim of government investigators who used the fake land deal and a slick-talking middleman to ensnare him.

Raphiel Mack was also found guilty on three counts of extortion and accepting bribes.

Joseph Giorgianni, a sandwich shop owner who was also involved in the scheme, pled guilty to two counts of extortion in the months before the trial began. The 64-year-old told authorities he handled the bribes for Mack and gave him about $8,000 in cash.

Mack, a Democrat who was elected in 2010, has remained in office since his arrest more than two years ago.

With the conviction, Mack will be removed from office and Trenton City Council President George Muschal will replace him. He was sworn in on Friday night.

Muschal will remain as mayor for 30 days, but can stay on for the remainder of Mack's term if the city's council votes him into the post.

"This protracted case has resulted in an unfortunate and unfair distraction for the City of Trenton for far too long," Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes said in a statement. "It has put a dark cloud over Trenton, and frankly, the entire region. Justice has been served and now it is time to move on, and to look forward to a brighter future."

Both Tony and Raphiel Mack are currently out on bail. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 14. He faces up to 40 years in a federal prison.

Since 2000, mayors of Newark, Camden, Paterson, Perth Amboy, Hoboken, Passaic, Asbury Park, Orange and Hamilton have been convicted or pleaded guilty in corruption cases.


Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

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