[QUOTE][B]Mayors, legislators arrested in New Jersey corruption probe[/B]
(CNN) -- Two mayors and two state legislators are among 11 public officials arrested in New Jersey as part of a corruption investigation, the U.S. attorney's office in Trenton announced Thursday.
"The defendants allegedly demanded and accepted payments ranging from $1,500 to $17,500 at any one time," the release from the U.S. attorney's office alleges. "In most cases, the defendants sought to establish and perpetuate a corrupt relationship with the cooperating witnesses to continue receiving bribes."
State Assemblymen Mims Hackett Jr. and Alfred E. Steele -- both Democrats -- and Passaic Mayor Samuel Rivera are among those arrested, the news release says.
Steele also serves as undersheriff in Passaic County, just outside Newark. Hackett is also mayor of Orange. Watch who is involved »
Also arrested were Keith O. Reed, the chief of staff to the Newark City Council president, Passaic Councilman Marcellus Jackson and former Passaic Councilman Jonathan Soto, the release states.
Five current and former school board members in Pleasantville, just outside Atlantic City, were arrested, too: Jayson G. Adams, James T. McCormick, James A. Pressley, Rafael Velez and Maurice Callaway, who also serves on the City Council.
A private citizen, Louis Mister, was snatched up in the sting as well, the release states.
"Each of the 11 public officials and one associate accepted the corrupt payments from companies that offered insurance brokerage or roofing services to school districts and municipalities," according to the news release.
The probe began in mid-2006, "amid evidence of corruption in the Pleasantville School District," the release states.
"In response, the FBI established an undercover insurance brokerage company purporting to employ the government's two cooperating witnesses and undercover agents," according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Pleasantville school board members allegedly accepted thousands of dollars in bribes from the cooperating witnesses, the release states.
The Pleasantville school board members also referred undercover agents to public officials in northern New Jersey, who accepted bribes as well, according to the release. The northern New Jersey officials referred the undercover agents to "still other corrupt public officials," the news release states.
The Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey, citing sources close to the investigation, reported that the officials were arrested on bribery charges. The U.S. attorney's office said it would divulge the charges Thursday afternoon.
Those arrested will begin making appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne Bongiovanni at 2 p.m. Thursday. U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie and FBI agent Weysan Dun are expected to hold a 3:30 p.m. news conference afterward in front of the federal courthouse in Trenton
[QUOTE=Jets 2007]Did any of them declare themselves "Gay Americans"??[/QUOTE]
In unrelated but related news, my Aunt and Uncle recently declined to enroll my teenage cousin in the Joseph Kushner Yeshiva up in Livingston because it was funded by Charles Kushner, the biggest POS to walk in this state in recent years after McGreevey.