✅ Mayor Sal Bonaccorso faces a slew of criminal charges

✅ Several residents spoke about the case at Monday's Township Council meeting

✅ "Mayor Sal" promised a vigorous defense against the charges

CLARK — Mayor Sal Bonaccorso denies allegations of corruption announced Monday by the state attorney general and vows to fight the charges.

The Republican mayor who has been in office since 2003, was charged with using township resources to run his business, fraudulently obtaining permits for his company to remove of underground storage tanks and working without proper licensing.

State has been investigating for years

"Mayor Bonaccorso denies each and every allegation contained in the criminal complaint," his attorney, Robert Stahl, said.

"The Attorney General’s Office has been investigating Clark Township and its various officials for years. What they now bring are criminal charges that the evidence will demonstrate are faulty and incorrect, and a report that did not lead to any criminal charges but rather only besmirches Mayor Bonaccorso, the town, and the police force."

Stahl said that "Mayor Sal" has "devoted himself to the betterment of all the citizens of Clark for many, many years of public service" and will clear his name and reputation.

Charges against Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso
Charges against Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso (Canva)

A “terrible stain” on the township

The charges against Bonaccorso were part of a dark day for this town of less than 16,000 people. On Monday, Attorney General Matt Platkin also called for the termination of Police Chief Pedro Matos and Sgt. Joseph Teston following an investigation into years of allegations of racism, cover-ups and internal affairs abuses.

The Township Council met Monday for a regularly scheduled meeting hours after the reports against the police and mayor were issued but did not comment on them.

Bonaccorso, who normally attends council meetings, was absent.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, several residents did address the news.

Mary Semler called it a “terrible stain” on the mayor, the town and the council and promised to find new leaders to represent the town.

Daniel Fuges called him an “embarrassment” and asked the council to take action to remove Bonaccorso from office. He was concerned about the potential upcoming legal fees that could be faced by the township.

Township Attorney Mark Dugan clarified that the municipality is not paying for Bonaccorso’s defense.

Gov. Murphy asked mayor to resign a year ago

Gov. Phil Murphy in April 2022 called for Bonaccorso to resign after recordings of his use of racial slurs and misogynistic language was released.

Bonaccorso issued an apology for the language and admitted he had personal "blind spots" about discrimination and said he was a different person than he was four years prior when he made the comments but did not step down.

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