Trenton Mayor Tony Mack And Fatso, Sex Offender Buddy Arrested On Corruption Charges

Trenton Mayor Tony "Napoleon" Mack
Trenton Mayor Tony "Honey Fitz" Mack currently is in federal custody after authorities say he solicited bribes in exchange for a city-funded contract to build a parking garage. Also arrested this morning was Mack's sex-offender buddy Joseph Giorgianni, who "ate his way out of jail" after getting convicted of perving out on a 14-year-old girl (more on that below).

According to court documents obtained by the Voice, the feds have been investigating Mack since September 2010, when they say he, Giorgianni and several others -- including Mack's brother, Ralphiel -- accepted bribes for the parking garage contract.

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The NYCHA Spending Saga Continues as Bloomberg Brings Aid to Agency

On Wednesday, the New York City Housing Authority released a consulting report done by the Boston Consulting Group that painted an ugly picture of what goes on in the largest public housing agency in the country. It was your typical bureaucratic clusterfuck - backlogs, overcharged items, the whole nine yards. For what the NYCHA oversees, it made the agency look like an amateur in comparison to other cities' housing agencies. 

And it pissed a bunch of people off - our fellow Voice scribe Candace Wheeler reported on the City Council oversight meeting concerning the fuss.

The dominoes continued to fall Thursday, as the Daily News investigation into what exactly was going on hit the press, citing the overpaid salaries of executives there, especially President John Rhea. This led to Mayor Bloomberg's announcement that two top executives would be replaced by two volunteers, one of whom actually lives in one of the buildings. The step forward marked another chapter in the chronicles of the Hozziner's drama with the NYCHA; one that has become a looming problem throughout his tenure.

But, this morning, it has been reported that the Bloomberg is installing yet another measure to continue efforts to stifle the drama. In his weekly radio address, he announced that he would be outsourcing some of the agency's jobs to other City departments to lighten the load off an agency that apparently cannot handle itself.

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Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm's Awkward Fundraiser Problem

When running any sort of political campaign, a fundraiser can be your best friend or your worst enemy (in this sense, we mean 'fundraiser' in the actual person sense, not a fundraising event). They can provide bankrolls or bad publicity; the latter remains as every candidate's nightmare. And, as of this morning, we can weave a grand ol' tale of that happing in our own backyard.

Michael Grimm is a young Republican star in Congress, representing both Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn. He has served in the Army, ran undercover in the FBI, opened his own health food restaurant in Manhattan and done a whole bunch of other cool stuff that can all be found on his website's 'About Me' page. On the Hill, he co-chairs the House Republican Israel Caucus and has sworn to repeal Obamacare.

Whelp, now that we've gotten his background out of the way, we can move on to the bigger story at hand here. Yesterday, one of Grimm's biggest fundraisers, a Mr. Ofer Bilton, was arraigned on charges of immigration fraud in Brooklyn. Bilton, an Israeli businessman, is being accused of lying up a storm two years ago whilst filling out visa applications for foreign investors.

And, as any corruption story goes, Bilton happened to be a pretty close ally to Grimm.

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Cops Bust Bodega Worker Ismael Duran for Not Selling Booze to Minor

If you sell alcohol to a minor, you can get arrested.

And if you do not sell alcohol to a minor, you can apparently also get arrested.

No, really.

The Daily News tells the story of Ismael Duran, a father of three who immigrated to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic three years ago. Duran works at the Giselle Mini Mart in Brownsville. When 18-year-old undercover cop Anthony Harriott tried to buy Smirnoff Ice, Duran checked his I.D. and refused, as Harriott is a minor.

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William Bratton, Former NYPD Commissioner, Gets Free Parking; Exclusive NY Post Jokes Ensue

The Post reports this morning on William Bratton, a former NYPD commissioner who apparently has a permit that lets him park anywhere in the city. For free!

So what's up? Bratton was spotted Wednesday parking his Lexus SUV in a "no standing zone" for an hour, and is said to have had a permit "for official use only...emblazoned with two NYPD shields and expires Feb. 1, 2013." Government officials have since told the paper these placards are only supposed to be "for official use" which would disqualify someone like Bratton, who no longer works for the City. Some NYPD top brass counter that "former police commissioners are entitled to placards."

Runnin' Scared reached out to the NYPD for clarification. The tabloid, true to Post form, has already called Bratton both a "fishy commishy" and a "perk jerk." Of course, the Post's arsenal of jeux de mots is never ending. Some predictions for the paper's follow-up?

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Wendell Walters, Crooked Former Housing Official, To Plead Guilty To Corruption Charges

Wendell Walters
Wendell Walters, a former assistant commissioner for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation, is expected to plead guilty to corruption charges this afternoon for a scam that cost the NYCDHP hundreds of thousands of dollars -- and lined the pockets of Walters and his cronies.

Walters, 49, and six others were indicted in October and hit with charges including racketeering, bribery, extortion, and money laundering for accepting bribes from private contractors in exchange for HPD contracts.

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Fake! DMV Clerk Clarence Jenkins Sold Drivers Licenses, Manhattan Prosecutor Alleges

Money can't buy happiness -- but it might buy you time behind the steering wheel if you're a felon who has been kicked out of the U.S.

The Manhattan District Attorney says that Clarence Jenkins, a 56-year-old DMV clerk, sold three fraudulent drivers licenses to New Yorkers -- including "at least one deported felon who illegally returned to the country."

The D.A., which announced Jenkins's indictment today, said that the ruse worked like this: Jenkins would process fake IDs from Puerto Rico -- which he knew were bogus -- and use them to issue valid New York drivers licenses.

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Pelosi, Boehner, Bachus, Hastert, Other Congressional Reps Traded Stock On Inside Tips, But It's All Legal (!?!)

Ever wonder why Congress seems so willing to help bail out the financial industry? Well, a 60 Minutes report on Sunday says that lawmakers purchased stock in companies while involved in debates on Capitol Hill about bills that would affect those companies.

Conflict of interest? Just a teensy-weensy little one. But it's apparently completely legal.

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Rod Blagojevich, Former Illinois Governor, Found Guilty on 17 Counts

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A jury has found former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich guilty on 17 counts in his second trial for corruption, the Chicago Tribune reports. The jury delivered no verdict for two counts and one not guilty decision. Last August, he was found guilty of lying to the FBI, but the jury hung on all 24 other counts. This go-around he faced charges of "wire fraud, attempted extortion, bribery, extortion conspiracy and bribery conspiracy," according to the New York Times. Throughout the entire circus Blago has maintained his innocence, and even testified for seven days; he did not testify during the first trial. This probably hurts as much as getting fired on Celebrity Apprentice. After the verdict was read, Blago turned to his wife Patti and whispered, "I love you." [Chicago Tribune]

Everybody's Investigating Sanitation Snowbatoge

So who isn't investigating The Great Snow Clean-Up Fuck-Up of 2010? After nearly a week of nonstop bitching, public agencies are finally cracking down on what went wrong with the city's blizzard response last week (or at least angling for some good publicity). The feds have reportedly launched a fraud investigation to see whether sanitation workers sabotaged the plowing efforts, and the city's own Department of Investigation says it's launched its own probe.More »