Tony Mack, mayor of NJ's capital city, arrested by FBI in corruption probe

Federal agents arrested Trenton Mayor Tony Mack on Monday, Sept. 10. 2012 as part of an ongoing corruption investigation.
File,AP Photo/Mel Evans
Trenton Mayor Tony Mack
File,AP Photo/Mel Evans

(CBS/AP) TRENTON, N.J. - Tony Mack, the mayor of New Jersey's capital city of Trenton, was caught taking bribes as part of an FBI sting, court papers show. The mayor, his brother, Ralphiel, and supporter Joseph Giorgianni were arrested Monday and charged with conspiring to obstruct, delay and affect interstate commerce by extortion under color of official right.

The criminal complaint against them shows they were approached by a cooperating witness who was working with authorities to get a better deal for criminal charges he was facing.

The witness said he wanted the mayor's support to build a parking garage.

The court papers show he and a second witness, who was paid, provided the Mack brothers and Giorgianni $54,000 and promised another $65,000.

Federal authorities have a news conference on the case scheduled for noon.

Mack's administration has been in turmoil from Day 1. A housecleaning of staff at City Hall opened the door for Mack's own appointees, who quickly turned it into a revolving door.

Under an agreement reached last year, the Democrat can hire department heads only from a pool of applicants the state offers or he risks losing $6 million in state aid.

One of his early backers was Giorgianni. The businessman went to prison in the 1980s on charges of carnally abusing and debauching the morals of a 14-year-old girl in the back of his sandwich shop. The case gained notoriety because of weight-related health problems that got Giorgianni, a steakhouse owner who once claimed to tip the scale at over 500 pounds, released and led a prosecutor to charge he "ate his way out of jail."