Hoboken Mayor Resigns Over Corruption Allegations - NBC New York

Hoboken Mayor Resigns Over Corruption Allegations

Council President Dawn Zimmer sworn in as acting mayor



    Hoboken Mayor Resigns Over Corruption Allegations
    Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano is led into the federal building in Newark last week. Today, he resigned.

    Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano tendered his resignation this morning, stepping down amid pressure from New Jersey political leaders and city residents after he was arrested last week in a corruption sweep.

    "Regrettably, it has turned out that the controversy surrounding the charges against me has become a distraction to me and an impediment to the functioning of Hoboken government," he said.

    City Council President Dawn Zimmer, who lost by 161 votes to Cammarano in a runoff election last month, was sworn in this afternoon as acting mayor.  A special election will be held Nov. 3 to fill the seat.

    Cammarano, 32, who is out on bail, had initially said he had no plans to resign after he was arrested in a money laundering and political corruption round-up that took down more than 40 people across the Garden State last week.

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    "Practically there comes a tipping point, it became clear he could not govern, " said his attorney Joe Hayden. "It was a distraction that was interfering with his ability to do the job. There is still a presumption of innocence and he still maintains his innocence."

    In his resignation letter, Cammarano again maintained that he didn't do anything wrong.

    He has been charged with taking $25,000 in bribes from a developer.

    According to federal officials, when a government witness offered Cammarano thousands of dollars to push through a fictitious high-rise development plan, the new mayor allegedly said, "Great -- and we're going to be friends for a long time."

    "I commend Peter Cammarano on making the right decision for Hoboken and resigning as Mayor," Zimmer said in a statement. "The charges facing him go right to the heart of the integrity of Hoboken government and it has become clear that he was not going to be able to govern."
    "Now, it is time to move forward and do the hard work of restoring confidence in City government and tackling the difficult problems that face Hoboken. Together, with my City Council colleagues, that is just what I intend to do."

    In a letter submitted to city officials around 9:15 a.m., Cammarano wrote, "it had been my hope and expectation that I could remain in office and perform my official duties until I had the opportunity to resolve the legal charges against me in court."

    Hours later, another elected official caught in last week's sweep resigned.

    Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt, a Republican from Ocean County, sent a letter announcing his intention to step down. He also took himself off the fall ballot, stating that he will not run for re-election.

    Van Pelt was the only elected Republican official who was charged by the FBI in last week's arrests