The mayor of New Jersey’s capital city was arrested on Monday morning by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in connection with an ongoing corruption investigation related to a parking garage project in the city.
Trenton Mayor Tony Mack, his associate, Joseph Giorgianni, and his brother, Ralphiel Mack, have been charged with conspiracy to obstruct interstate commerce by extortion, according to the criminal complaint filed on Monday.
Since September 2010 — a few months after Mack took office — federal law enforcement has been investigating the mayor and the others arrested on concerns of corruption within the city, among other crimes.
“The investigation revealed evidence of a conspiracy among these defendants and others to corrupt certain functions of Trenton city government in favor of a purported developer seeking to build a parking garage on city-owned property in exchange for cash payments totaling approximately $119,000, a total of $54,000 that the defendants actually accepted in one way or another and another $65,000 that they anticipated accepting,” according to the criminal complaint filing.
Mack and Giorgianni employed intermediaries, including Ralphiel Mack, and used code names and limited discussions of the scheme over the phone to evade detection, the filing said.
Code names for Mack that were listed in the filing included “Honey Fitz,” “the Little Guy” and “Napoleon.”
Another person involved, called “CW-1” in the filing, is cooperating with law enforcement in the hopes of obtaining a more favorable outcome with respect to criminal charges.
The complaint details meetings between Giorgianni and CW-1, who claimed to represent a developer for the parking garage who wanted the support of Mack to complete the project in exchange for cash payments.
Giorgianni maintains a sandwich shop and a clubhouse in Trenton, and has been a campaign supporter of Mack.
Ralphiel Mack was the head football coach for Trenton Central High School.
The Star-Ledger reported that both Mack and Giorgianni were led in handcuffs from the FBI field office in Hamilton, N.J., this morning and taken to the federal court house in Trenton. Both men declined to comment.