Thursday, August 31, 2006

Corruption in South Jersey

The president of the Atlantic City council and a Camden (N.J.) city council member each pleaded guilty to corruption charges related to payments for contractors for receiving government work.  Craig Callaway, from Atlantic City, and Ali Sloan El, from Camden, each entered guilty pleas, and a press release issued by the U.S Attorney's Office (here) describes the conduct:

During his guilty plea, Callaway, 47, of Atlantic City, admitted to taking approximately $36,000 in six different payments between 2003 and 2005, in exchange for using his position to assist a contractor, Terry Jacobs of Pleasantville, in obtaining construction work in Atlantic City projects. Those projects include development of the Garwood Mills site, a 6.4-acre waterfront site on the northeast inlet of Atlantic City, named for a department store that once occupied the land.

Sloan El, 52, of Camden admitted during his guilty plea to taking approximately the same amount, $36,000, in six different payments between 2003 and 2005, in exchange for steering Camden redevelopment work to the contractor. The promised projects included concrete, sidewalk and other construction work including regarding Camden’s Cooper’s Ferry project and parking for the New Jersey Aquarium.

An article in The Press of Atlantic City (here) notes that two other member of the Atlantic City council are targets of the three-year federal corruption investigation.  It sure sounds like local elected officials in South Jersey aren't too expensive to buy these days. (ph)

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