NJ Calls For Convicted Trenton Mayor To Be Removed
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS/AP) — New Jersey officials have filed legal paperwork to remove the mayor of the state’s capital city from office after he was convicted of corruption.
The state Attorney General’s Office filed a request Monday with a state Superior Court judge, asking that Tony Mack be kicked out of office, stripped of his pension and be barred from holding elected office again. The state lawyers asked that the case be considered an emergency so Mack could be ousted quickly.
Mack was convicted Friday on bribery, fraud and extortion charges (See Related Story).
Under state law, people convicted of corruption cannot continue to hold public office. But since Mack has not resigned, the state is asking a judge to enforce the law.
Mark Davis, a lawyer for Mack, did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press about Monday’s filing. A hearing is expected before Mack would be removed, but one has not been scheduled.
All was quiet Monday at City Hall in Trenton with soon to be ousted Mack’s SUV not parked in an assigned city spot, but rather out front of his home on Berkeley Avenue.
No answer at the Mayor’s door on what could be his last day in office.
Once a superior court judge signs the paper work, Mack is out.
City Council President George Muschal is in line to become acting mayor and complete Mack’s term, which ends July 1.
Muschal says he expected to get the call Monday morning, but soon found out the process wouldn’t be so swift.
“And the bottom line is that I’m sitting here waiting. I closed my business today and it’s a waiting game right now. Like I said it could be two days or a week,” Muschal said.
When Muschal is sworn in and how long he fills in as Mayor are up in the air, but given the chance Muschal plans to make a statement in City Hall.
“We need a leadership in there, we have nobody steering the boat and basically the city is bleeding and that’s what I’m here to stop the bleed and I’m going to do my best. And I will stop it for that short time,” he said.
The people of Trenton hope Muschal, a former police officer, can make good on that promise to restore integrity.
“It’s time to have somebody honest in the job,” a resident said.
“I hope he does right by Trenton. Do something for the children – education, community centers, girls and boys clubs, something to give children to do in the city,” John Simon of Trenton said.
A regular city election is scheduled for May 13 to choose the next mayor and Muschal has said he does not intend to run. Mack is to be sentenced to prison the day after that election.
After a nearly monthlong trial, a federal jury last week found that Mack and his brother Ralphiel Mack, a former football coach at Trenton Central High School, participated in a scheme to take bribes in exchange for helping get approvals to develop a downtown parking garage. The deal was fictitious and part of a government sting.
Tony Mack was elected in 2010.
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