Trenton Mayor Tony Mack – Should He Step Aside? [POLL]
I’m betting that embattled Trenton Mayor Tony Mack probably subscribes to the axiom that the best defense is a good offense.
Hence, in the midst of having been arrested on a federal bribery charge, he continues to maintain his innocence, and did so today during a groundbreaking event.
Mayor Tony Mack again professed his innocence this morning during a streets groundbreaking event that turned into a pointed question-and-answer session on the federal bribery charge he faces.
Mack made a rare public appearance this morning to herald a $425,000 street reconstruction project on North Warren Street, but soon found himself facing a barrage of questions on his Sept. 10 arrest.
Asked the status of his federal corruption case and whether he was considering a plea deal, Mack said he is innocent. He has been charged with conspiring to extort more than $100,000 in bribes from FBI informants posing as developers of a proposed downtown parking garage.
"You know, those are legal situations we're not allowed to discuss, but I will say this, and I've said it before: In America you're innocent until proven guilty and I am innocent," he said.
Mack repeated the statement several times as reporters continued to ask him about the arrest, the nearly six-month wiretap of his cell phone and his co-defendants, brother Ralphiel Mack and campaign supporter Joseph "JoJo" Giorgianni.
He said that, despite his arrest, he is still in charge of the capital city.
"Ain't no question about it," he said. "Unequivocally. Ask any department director who runs the city."
In the midst of that, a number of public officials have called for the mayor to step aside…citing the “black eye” that it gives the image of the city.
Which goes hand in hand with a resolution that State Senator Shirley Turner would have you vote on next November forcing indicted public officials step down.
I’m surprised that it’s taken this long for a legislator to even come up that…but then again, that’s like asking the fox to watch the henhouse.
But the Greek chorus is getting louder and louder for Mack to step down.
Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson said, “I wish Mayor Mack would do the right thing and step down from office so we can move on with city business.”
“We just don’t need that type of stuff for the city of Trenton. This is a black eye for the city,” Caldwell-Wilson said. “I feel terrible. I feel he’s betrayed every resident, and I don’t believe he’s deserving of their support at this time.”
Councilman George Muschal, a frequent Mack critic, said he doubted the mayor would step down.
“I think he should resign, but he won’t,” Muschal said. “He’ll say, ‘I’m innocent. I was framed,’ and he’s going to be the mayor and keep making the decisions like he has for the last couple of months.”
“The city is going to continue to run, and it’s going to continue to run backwards,” Muschal said. “We’ll do the things we have to do to keep it afloat, but until we have real leadership to steer us in the right direction, we’ll keep going backwards.”
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Trenton) said Mack should “step aside” until the charges are resolved.
“If you put your office up for sale, whoever you are, you don’t deserve it,” he said. “And it’s the people of Trenton who are on the losing end.”
However we really don’t know, outside of whatever evidence the FBI is holding, as to the extent of how much the mayor allegedly put his office up for sale.
But, given the serious nature of the charge against the mayor, I believe the citizens of Trenton deserve better than to have a mayor, who’s attention, at the very least, will be diverted due to his present legal predicament.
What say you...do you feel Mayor Tony Mack should step aside?