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West New York Mayor Acquitted of Hacking

A federal jury acquitted a northern New Jersey mayor of hacking into the website of a political foe but convicted the mayor’s adult son in verdicts handed down Tuesday.

West New York mayor Felix Roque (Facebook)

The Jersey Journal reports the verdicts were handed down in U.S. District Court in Newark after about one day of deliberations. West New York Mayor Felix Roque had been charged with conspiracy and gaining unauthorized access to computers.

After the verdicts were read, Joseph Roque’s aunt held his forehead as he cried, telling him “It’s going to be OK.” The younger Roque was acquitted of a conspiracy charge.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged the Roques used aliases to get passwords for people operating a website that urged the mayor be recalled. Joseph Roque allegedly disabled the site.

The mayor was cheered and applauded by about 40 supporters in the courthouse hallway after the verdicts were rendered. He later spoke briefly spoke with reporters outside the courthouse, saying he was not surprised by his acquittal.

“My heart was always clean and I felt positive and I knew that at trial justice would be done — the truth would come out,” the mayor said.

West New York is a town of about 50,000 residents that sits atop the Palisades along the Hudson River, with views of the Manhattan skyline directly across the water.

 

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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