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Hamilton Mayor Pleads Not Guilty, Won’t Resign

The mayor of New Jersey’s largest suburb has pleaded not guilty to charges of extortion and money
laundering.

Mayor John Bencivengo
Mayor John Bencivengo (Hamilton Township)

Hamilton Township Mayor John Bencivengo appeared before a federal judge in Trenton Thursday.

Federal prosecutors allege Bencivengo took $12,400 from a cooperating witness in exchange for using his influence over a health insurance contact with the township’s school district.

Bencivengo’s lawyer says the money was actually a loan from a friend.

Bencivengo became mayor of the Mercer County community in 2008 and was sworn in to a second term in January. Gov. Chris Christie has called on him to resign, but Bencivengo’s lawyer says there’s
no reason to.

Bencivengo remains free on $100,000 bond and is scheduled to stand trial on Nov. 5.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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