Peter Cammarano III is the Hoboken Mayor arrested on a criminal complaint in a wide-reaching FBI sting this morning. Information is sparse and developing. See video below. Updated as available – latest Update July 24 2009.
Peter Cammarano III, 32, a Democrat, and Michael Shaffer are named in the same criminal complaint.
Taken directly from the complaint (pdf) Peter Cammarano III:
…did knowingly and willfully conspire to obstruct, delay, and affect interstate commerce by extortion under color of official right, by accepting and agreeing to accept corrupt payments that were paid and to be paid by another, with that person’s
consent, in exchange for defendant PETER CAMMARANO III’s future official assistance in Hoboken
The following is from nj.com Hoboken Now (links to the original complaint pdf):
According to the complaint, an informant working with the FBI — the “CW,” or cooperating witness — posed as a real estate developer eager to build “high” in Hoboken.
The CW met Cammarano, who was then running for mayor, in April at the Malibu Diner, along with Michael Shaffer, a North Hudson Utilities Authority commissioner.
The CW told Cammarano he would give Shaffer $10,000 if the mayor could “expedite” his development plans.
From the complaint:
Defendant Cammarano explained that “[i]t can go on the agenda just as soon as there’s a sponsor for it . . . That happens like that.”
The CW inquired, “So, if you sponsor it, boom?”
Defendant Cammarano replied, “Yeah.”
When the CW stated “make sure you get my stuff expedited,” defendant Cammarano assured the CW that “I promise you . . . you’re gonna be, you’re gonna be treated like a friend.”
According to the criminal complaint, Shaffer acted as a middle man for the money.
Dawn Zimmer lost a close mayoral race to Cammarano by just 160-some votes and is currently serving as the Hoboken Council president.
The FBI raided the Department of Community Affairs Commissioner, Joe Doria’s home and office also.
Update 7-23-09 6:35 p.m. CDT:
Cammarano III is charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right. This charge has a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a maximum statutory fine of $250,000.00
Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano III, posted $100,000 unsecured bail bond and returned to his office today, saying he will not resign and he is innocent until proven guilty:
I want to state categorically that the charges that have been leveled against me in federal court are completely baseless, and I deny any wrongdoing,
Photo Credit: Robert Scrianno/The Star-Ledger