By Robin Rieger
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – Trenton mayor Tony Mack headed into federal court without comment Wednesday. The mayor, his brother Ralphiel Mack and convicted sex offender Joseph Jo Jo Giorgianni entered not guilty pleas to extortion, bribery, conspiracy and mail fraud charges. (see related story)
The mayor walked to court from city hall where his attorney, Mark Davis, says Mack will continue to work.
“He’s presumed innocent until proven guilty so he’s going to keep his job until state law says otherwise,” Davis says.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the three participated in a scheme to accept, from cooperating witnesses, $119,000 in bribes in exchange for Mayor Mack’s official actions and influence in the development of a parking garage on a city owned East State Street lot.
Mack’s attorney says he will most likely seek a six month continuance from a February trial date.
“I think we’re going to be receiving boxes of transcripts, boxes of other types of documents to go thru and review, consider motions and also do our own investigation,” Davis says.
Giorgianni and Ralphiel Mack allegedly acted as intermediaries who accepted $54,000 in cash payments for Mayor Mack’s benefit using Giorgianni’s restaurant to meet. Neither of them commented.
“I’m not going to talk about any of the merits of the case,” says Davis.
The Feds raided the mayor’s house, city hall and other locations in July; arrests came in September. Mack’s attorney was asked about the possibility of a plea agreement.
“No, not from Tony Mack,” Davis says.
All three are released on previous bail arrangements. The Mayor was reminded by Judge Michael Shipp not to speak with potential witnesses.
There was an allegation, says Mack’s attorney, that Mack was seen speaking with someone he wasn’t supposed to have contact with.