When Trenton Mayor Tony Mack was convicted of bribery, extortion, wire fraud and mail fraud in federal court earlier this month, he opted not to resign. State law says he is now ineligible to serve as mayor, but without his resignation, it will take a judge’s declaration to enforce the state statute.
Mack will remain in office at least two more weeks after he was given the chance to fight a state attorney general’s effort to remove him.
New Jersey Attorney General John Hoffman is pushing to remove Mack from power. While in office, Mack continues to receive his $4,800 biweekly salary. Hoffman wants to ban him from public office and seize his pension and retirement benefits. Mack must respond by Feb. 24. The attorney general’s office will file its written response the following day.
Hoffman is asking a Superior Court judge to remove Mack as mayor, but the hearing is not scheduled until Feb. 26. Even then, Mack could conceivably drag out the process for weeks with a court fight and appeals.
It’s the first time in 13 years that New Jersey’s attorney general has had to go to court to oust a convicted mayor. Not since the case of former Camden Mayor Milton Milan in December 2000 have state prosecutors needed to force a mayor from office.
Milan was convicted of 14 corruption counts, including charges that he took $30,000 in bribes from a mob boss and stole campaign money to finance a vacation to Puerto Rico.