Ridgefield Mayor Acquitted of Corruption Charges

Suarez has refused to step down

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    (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)

    A federal jury has acquitted a northern New Jersey mayor and convicted his associate in a trial stemming from last year's large-scale corruption sting.

    Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez and Guttenberg tax preparer Vincent Tabbachino each faced two extortion counts and one bribery count. Tabbachino was acquitted of conspiracy but convicted on the other counts.

    The verdicts were announced midway through the fourth day of deliberations.

    Suarez' acquittal represents the first loss in a corruption case for the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey in more than a decade encompassing more than 150 cases.

    Informant Solomon Dwek had testified that Suarez and Tabbachino agreed to accept money in exchange for helping him with approvals for a fictitious development project in Ridgefield.