Cammarano gets two years in jail
No surprise here…
Cammarano sentenced to two years
Former Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, who spent only three weeks in office – finally received his sentence today in Newark. Cammarano pleaded guilty in April 2010 for taking $25,000 in bribes from a federal informant posing as a real estate developer.
Cammarano was one of many individuals, politicians and rabbis that were snagged in a sophisticated federal corruption and money laundering sting operation.
Cammarano will serve two years in jail under the terms of his plea agreement.
SEE ALL PREVIOUS UPDATES AND VIDEOS AFTER THE BREAK…
(Continuing the ongoing coverage of the bribery charges against former Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano and others involved…)
More heads roll in the NJ corruption sting operation. Curiously, Michael Schaffer is still listed as a Commissioner on the North Hudson Sewerage Authority website. Wonder how long it’ll take them to can him?
Also for those wondering – Cammarano’s sentencing is in 49 days – August 3, 2010.
Michael Schaffer also pleads guilty to extortion
Hoboken resident Michael Schaffer admitted today that he gave $25,000 in illicit cash campaign contributions to former Hoboken Mayor Peter J. Cammarano III in a scheme to obtain Cammarano’s official influence regarding real estate development projects, United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Schaffer, 59, appeared before United States District Judge Jose L. Linares and pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal Information charging him with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.
Judge Linares continued Schaffer’s release on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled for September 15, 2010.
At his plea hearing, Schaffer admitted that, while Cammarano was an at-large Councilman for the City of Hoboken and candidate for the position of mayor, Schaffer accepted three unlawful cash campaign contributions totaling $15,000 from a cooperating government witness, who purported to be a real estate developer.
Schaffer further admitted that on July 16, 2009, after Cammarano had been elected and sworn in as mayor, he accepted an additional $10,000 illicit cash campaign contribution from the cooperating witness.
Schaffer admitted that the $25,000 in cash payments were in exchange for Cammarano’s future official assistance, action, and influence in Hoboken government matters pertaining to the cooperating witness’s anticipated real estate development projects. Schaffer also admitted that he wrote checks to Cammarano’s campaign fund in order to conceal the origin of the cash he received from the cooperating witness.
Cammarano pleads guilty for accepting $25k bribe
Former Hoboken Mayor Admits Extorting Cash Contributions in Return for Official Influence
NEWARK, N.J. – Peter J. Cammarano III, former Mayor of the City of Hoboken, pleaded guilty today and admitted accepting $25,000 in illicit cash contributions in exchange for exercising his future official influence and authority, United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. Cammarano, 32, of Hoboken, appeared before United States District Judge Jose L. Linares and pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal Information charging him with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right. Judge Linares continued Cammarano’s release on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled for August 3, 2010.
At his plea hearing, Cammarano admitted that, while he was an at-large Councilman for the City of Hoboken and candidate for the position of Mayor, he accepted three illicit cash campaign contributions totaling $15,000 from a cooperating witness (“CW”), who purported to be a real estate developer. Cammarano further admitted that on July 16, 2009, after he had been elected and sworn in as Mayor, he accepted an additional $10,000 illicit cash campaign contribution from the CW.
Cammarano admitted that all of the $25,000 in cash payments were in exchange for his future official assistance, action and influence in Hoboken government matters pertaining to the CW’s anticipated real estate development projects. Cammarano further admitted that all of the illicit cash he accepted from the CW was paid through Michael Schaffer, Edward Cheatam, and an individual referred to in the Information as the “Consultant.”
U.S. Attorney Fishman stated: “Today, Peter Cammarano admitted that he sold his influence as Hoboken’s mayor before and after he was elected and took office. Every time public officials make that choice, they betray not only their constituents, but all of their colleagues who serve selflessly.”
“This case serves as an unfortunate example of how pervasive public corruption can be considering the fact that someone so young in his political career can succumb to such enticements,” said Michael B. Ward, Special Agent In Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Newark division. “The public should expect its officials to be held to the highest levels of integrity and anything less will be vigorously pursued and investigated.”
Today’s guilty plea stems from a two-track undercover FBI investigation into public corruption and money laundering which resulted in the charging of 44 individuals via criminal Complaints on July 23, 2009.
The charge to which Cammarano pleaded guilty carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. As part of Cammarano’s guilty plea, he agreed to forfeit the $25,000 in illicit cash contributions that he accepted. Cheatam pleaded guilty before Judge Linares on September 18, 2009, to conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, and awaits sentencing. The case against Schaffer is pending. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Linares will consult the advisory U.S. Sentencing.
Report: Cammarano to Plead Guilty
Hudson County political blogger Hudson Shark is reporting former Mayor Peter Cammarano will be in Federal court tomorrow, where he is expected to plead guilty to federal corruption charges related to his arrest last July. No word on what charge Cammarano will plead to, or what kind of deal may have been made with the U.S. Attorney. That news will come later. Once again HudsonShark.com is reporting Peter Cammarano will be in court tomorrow where he’s expected to plead guilty. Hoboken411 has no independent confirmation of this news, but “Sharkie” is known to have very good sources.
Council members issue statements
2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason said that she was “shocked” by the charges and finds Cammarano’s refusal to step down “disturbing and arrogant.” She also demanded that North Hudson Sewage Authority Commissioner Michael Schaffer to resign as well.
Meanwhile, recently elected At-Large councilman David Mello likens this week’s stunning event as a “severe wound” inflicted on Hoboken and also believes that Cammarano should step down, believing that he will not be able to serve the community while he defends the charges.
See full statements here:
So what’s the latest on the whole “NJ Corruption” situation?
50 hours later and some reader mail
Here’s a brief video from ABC News – indicating that Jersey City Mayor Jeremiah Healy is also “under investigation,” but no charges have been made (also see article from NorthJersey.com)
Several readers were wondering how many “layers” deep this corruption scandal goes – and are curious who else it will trickle down to. I guess time will tell, and how many birdies feel like singing.
Mini-protest on residential street
This morning, around 100 “protesters” gathered in front of Mayor Cammarano’s home on Bloomfield Street uptown – along with many “highway car-wreck rubber-neckers” interested to see what it was all about. Several news stations such were on hand to video the “event.”
What did residents think about the “Cammarano Corner?”
While several readers discussed this protest in the comments section of this very entry – most of the messages Hoboken411 received were in opposition of it. Do you think it was appropriate?
Here are some excerpts:
- “This protest was organized by Zimmer Zealots, and was a classless act. It should have been done at city hall. Marita and Abigail (his wife and daughter) were accused of taking bribes too?”
- “I saw quite a few stroller moms and their kids. Great example to set!”
- “Didn’t they know that Cammarano was most likely NOT home, and they were protesting to an empty house? They just wanted attention, and are still angry Zimmer didn’t win.”
- “Hey – weren’t tax dollars used to pay for the police who had to be there, instead of patrolling the streets?”
(PS – “Cammarano Corner” is how Hoboken Police referred to this over the air.)
30 hours later – Hoboken411 seamlessly has a new home! No more database errors!
Cammarano related updates
Anyway – keeping the conversation in one place – here are some other tidbits involving the corruption charges against Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano:
- Much of the community wants Cammarano to resign – and he has plainly said he’s not (see video after the break). Some are even trying an online petition (which really won’t work) and you cannot recall a Mayor until he or she’s been in office for a year. Remember, Guttenberg Mayor David Della Donna didn’t resign after he was arrested either – and served as Mayor right up until his conviction!
- Since Cammarano’s announcement that he will not resign – an announcement about his transition team’s next meeting went out from Michael Novak. A couple members sent out letters of resignation – Including Scott Delea (PDF) and Phil Cohen (PDF). Cohen served as a Mason supporter during the first election.
Cammarano Photos abound!
Even Glenn Beck sounds in about New Jersey!
Tonight on the Glenn Beck Program – he had a two minute rant about the corrupt nature of NJ politics. Pretty funny!
Video from today’s press conference at city hall:
See EXCLUSIVE video of Cammarano’s last moments as a “free man” below!!
Soon 411 will be bullet-proof
(Continuing my “server emergency”) Hoboken411 received nearly 500,000 pageviews in one single day yesterday – over seven times the average daily load. And most of it came within the early part of the morning when the Peter Cammarano news broke. Needless to say, I’m in the midst of the process of migrating Hoboken411 to a “digg proof” system – which should be complete by the weekend. This means, that even if I catch Osama Bin Laden by myself – the server will NOT crash. Good news finally.
Since I’ve dedicated my mind, body and soul to getting this site to a level that can withstand monumental traffic – here’s a brief overview of our last 24 hours:
I just woke from a coma – please help!
– Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano was “allegedy” involved with some nefarious activity. See his Perp Walk after the jump below.
– Here are the official charges against him. Including this not-so-nice quote against residents of the Hoboken community:
– John Corzine didn’t say positive things about today’s disparaging NJ events. Many believe he’s toast even more come this November.
411 Exclusive: Cammarano’s last video as a free man!
This is the last known video footage of Peter Cammarano as a “free man.” Taken this past Wednesday night at the St. Ann’s Feast – Peter Cammarano has always volunteered his time to help the community.
See the original updates – as well as press conference footage – below…
Unfortunately you can’t plan for stories like this – and the unexpected surge in web traffic (I was “this” close to transferring 411 over to a distributed server). With over 300,000 pageviews before 11am (normally 70,000 per day) – I was forced to make this switch sooner than I wanted to.
So with that being said – I had to spend my time today on the technical side. Sh*t happens, they say. Anyway – here are some web videos about today’s statewide corruption arrests.
Hudson County Arrests
According to ABC News – It appears that Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano was arrested – along with Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell – and many other Hudson County officials were arrested as part of an FBI and IRS “sting” operation.
“At least two mayors and one deputy mayor are among those arrested by federal agents this morning.
Hoboken’s newly elected mayor, Peter Cammarano and Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell were both arrested. So was Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Baldini. The arrests are being made by agents with the FBI and IRS.
A news conference will be held later today in Newark.”
I’m not sure what the exact details are – we’ll find out more later!