Trenton Mayor Tony Mack, 47, who is still in office, and his
brother, Ralphiel Mack, have denied charges related to a 2010
bribery scheme in which $119,000 was offered in exchange for Mayor
Mack's help in the development of an automated parking garage on
About $54,000 was actually paid, the indictment said, with the rest
to be paid later.
It was not immediately known if the trial will include testimony
from a co-conspirator who pleaded guilty in the scheme — restaurant
owner Joseph Giorgianni, also known as "The Fat Man" and JoJo, the
name of his steak house, according to the indictment filed in U.S.
District Court in Trenton.
Prosecutors contend that the Mack brothers and Giorgianni agreed to
accept money from two persons, identified only as cooperating
witnesses who, court documents indicated, were buyers of the land.
Mayor Mack has maintained his innocence and his lawyer has said he
has no plans to step down despite a call to do so by Governor Chris
The mayor faces one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, one
count of attempting the obstruction of justice by extortion, one
count of accepting bribes and three counts of fraud. His brother
faces one count of conspiracy to obstruct, one count of attempting
obstruction, one count of accepting bribes and three counts of
According to the indictment, a scheme was hatched to keep Mayor Mack
from being caught. Money was channeled through Giorgianni and
Ralphiel Mack, the indictment charged.
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"They often used coded and cryptic language, including using the
term 'Uncle Remus' to refer to the corrupt payments," the indictment
Part of the effort to hide the scheme involved Giorgianni using the
name "Mr. Baker" when sending text messages about the payments,
Mayor Mack, not a tall man, was referred to as "the little guy" and
Prosecutors accuse the three of trying to conceal their activities
by avoiding meetings in City Hall, which is near the federal
courthouse, and instead gathering at Giorgianni's residence, his
steak house and restaurants in Atlantic City.
(Reporting by Dave Warner; editing by Barbara Goldberg and Gunna
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