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11 Arrests In N.J. Corruption Probe

FBI agents arrested 11 public officials, including a mayor and two state lawmakers, in towns across New Jersey on Thursday in connection with a federal corruption probe, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

The arrests were related to insurance contracts for local governments, a law enforcement official said on condition of anonymity because the formal announcement was pending.

Democratic state Assemblymen Mims Hackett Jr. and Alfred E. Steele were among those arrested, along with Passaic Mayor Samuel Rivera, the law enforcement official said. Also arrested were the chief of staff to Newark's City Council president, Passaic Councilmen Jonathan Soto and Marcellus Jackson, and five Pleasantville school board members.

Initial court appearances were scheduled Thursday afternoon in Trenton.

The U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Christopher J. Christie, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Weysan Dun scheduled an afternoon news conference to discuss the case.

More than 100 public officials in the state have been convicted on federal corruption charges in the last five years.

Thursday's arrests were the latest in an anti-corruption campaign waged by Christie's office. Two other Democratic state senators, Wayne Bryant of Lawnside and Sharpe James of Newark, are among others facing pending corruption charges.

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