MARCH 14, 2007
In the latest of a series of political corruption cases in New Jersey, a shameless Atlantic City council president told a federal judge that he took bribes from a contractor seeking city business to help his constituents.
Making obscene gestures to the media as he arrived in federal court, one of the city’s most powerful political forces, Craig Callaway, was sentenced to 40 months in prison for taking thousands of dollars in a series of bribes from the contractor secretly working as a federal informant.
In a guilty plea, Callaway admitted that he took $36,000 during a two-year period from a contractor seeking development projects in Atlantic City. The former council president said he took several cash payments in exchange for his support of various projects. Two other Atlantic City councilmen – Ramon Rosario and Gibb Jones – have also admitted taking bribes from the same contractor.
During his sentencing hearing this week, Callaway told the judge that he is very zealous and passionate when it comes to representing people who have been left out of the process and therefore he took bribes for the people. The former politician was also fined $1,000 and barred from ever holding public office again.
Political corruption is a New Jersey staple that one newspaper calls an ugly aspect of life in the state, much like turnpike traffic and the stink from Linden oil fields. The publication’s “Corruption Rogues Gallery” features more than a dozen of the states top crooked public officials, including several bribed mayors, various convicted county officials and an array of public employees on the take.
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