FBI Raids Homes Of Trenton Mayor Tony Mack, Brother, Sex Offender
The FBI says it searched two other homes during a middle-of-the-night raid of the house of Trenton Mayor Tony Mack.
Tax records show the properties belong to Ralphiel Mack, the mayor’s brother, and to Joseph Giorgianni, a convicted sex offender who donated to Tony Mack’s run for mayor.
Federal authorities will not say what they are investigating.
Telephone messages seeking comment from his brother, a high school football coach in Trenton, and from Giorgianni were not returned.
Several agents were seen early Wednesday morning inside Tony Mack’s Berkeley Avenue home and taking equipment inside according to the Times of Trenton. Trenton Police were called to assist with the search.
Shortly after 6AM two agents emerged from the home with two boxes of unknown content. They gave an unidentified man and woman permission to enter Mack’s home.
In a statement, Mack said, “I have not violated my duties or the public trust and have no further comment on this matter.”
The Trentonian reports that Mack and his children were home during the search.
AN ADMINISTRATION UNDER FIRE
Mack has drawn criticism since he was elected in 2010. The Democrat’s first term in office has been punctuated by accusations of reckless spending and nepotism.
Under an agreement reached last year, Mack can only hire department heads from a pool of applicants the state offers or he risks losing $6 million in state aid. A citizens group last year failed to get enough signatures to force a recall election.
The mayor also has faced questions about how he financed his campaign for mayor and about his own troubled personal finances.
His home and other Mack properties have repeatedly been in foreclosure, and he has been late in paying his taxes.
In just Mack’s first year in office he ran through a string of business administrators. The first resigned after a month, saying the mayor didn’t believe in “good government.” Another resigned just ahead of pleading guilty
to embezzlement on another job.
His housing director quit after it was learned he had a theft conviction. His chief of staff was arrested trying to buy heroin. His half brother, Stanley “Muscles” David, pleaded guilty earlier this year to official misconduct for directing Trenton Water Works crews to perform private side jobs using city equipment and billing the city for the hours.
A former longtime city employee sued the mayor late last year.
The parks department employee said she was let go after refusing to dole out jobs for the mayor’s friends, refusing to give federal grant money to people who didn’t apply and for inquiring about city funds she said were missing.
The ex-employee also said she was replaced by a Mack supporter who never showed up for his $40,000-a-year job.
Attorney George Dougherty, who represents that employee and two others in wrongful termination lawsuits against the city, expressed relief that authorities have taken action against Mack. “My reaction today was finally we can all stop saying when will government react to what’s been very obvious to us,” Dougherty
said. “What I don’t know is which of the spectrum of things that have been reported finally sparked the action.”
Dougherty, who worked as a Trenton city attorney from 1971 to 1990, said Mack has left the government in disarray. “Maybe what happened this morning will bring an end to that,”
he said. “Let’s hope.”
Trenton Councilman George Muschal, a retired police officer who had initially supported Mack but then became a harsh critic, said he didn’t know the focus of the investigation but said “when the feds come after you, they come after you for a good reason.”
Muschal said city workers regularly come to him with a wide range of complaints but that Mack is many times impossible to reach. “He’s the commander-in- chief, he’s leading the ship and I don’t know where it’s going. The man does what he wants,” he said.
A year ago, Muschal told The Associated Press that City Hall had become corrupted by the Mack administration. “It won’t stop until someone takes him out in handcuffs or he’s removed by recall,” Muschal said at the time.
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The Associated Press contributed to this story.