FBI agents are searching offices in Trenton City Hall Thursday morning, a day after the feds raided the home of Trenton's Mayor Tony Mack
FBI agents searched offices in Trenton City Hall Thursday, a day after the feds raided the home of Trenton's mayor, whose two-year administration of New Jersey's impoverished capital city has been marked by accusations of nepotism and reckless spending.
A city worker who asked not to be identified told NBC 4 New York that FBI agents were seen searching the mayor's second-floor offices and the city's economic development offices on the third floor.
"What took them so long to get here?" questioned city councilman and former police officer George Muschal. "I felt there was full-blown corruption here two years ago, and I still stand by it."
The search of City Hall comes one day after FBI agents searched the home of Trenton Mayor Tony Mack. They also searched the homes of his brother Ralphiel Mack and campaign contributor Joseph "JoJo" Giorgianni.
On Wednesday morning, hours after the FBI's pre-dawn raid of his home, Mack, 46, denied any wrongdoing.
"We have not violated the public trust nor have I violated any of my public duties and that's all I have to say on the matter," he said.
No arrests have been made and an FBI spokeswoman declined to comment, except to confirm searches are underway in connection with an ongoing investigation. A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman also declined to comment.
Mack's administration has been in turmoil from Day 1, staggering from one crisis to another. A housecleaning of staff at City Hall opened the door for Mack's own appointees, who quickly turned it into a revolving door. Some left over questions about their credentials, others to face criminal charges.
Under an agreement reached last year, the Democrat can only hire department heads from a pool of applicants the state offers or he risks losing $6 million in state aid.
A citizens' group last year failed to get enough signatures to force a recall election.
Muschal accused Mack of doling out no-bid deals to contractors and said accounting was so poor the city couldn't afford to refill two pools.
"The administration doesn't show," he said. "They don't want to meet with us."
In Mack's first year in office in Trenton, a city of 85,000, he ran through a string of business administrators. The first resigned after a month, saying the mayor didn't believe in "good government." Another resigned just ahead of pleading guilty to embezzlement at another job.
Mack's housing director quit after it emerged that he had a theft conviction. His chief of staff was arrested trying to buy heroin. His half-brother, whose authority he elevated at the city water plant, was arrested on charges of stealing.
Questions have also been raised about how he financed his campaign for mayor.
A former longtime city employee sued the mayor late last year. The parks department employee said she was let go after refusing to dole out jobs for the mayor's friends, refusing to give federal grant money to people who didn't apply and for inquiring about city funds she said were missing.
The ex-employee also said she was replaced by a Mack supporter who never showed up for his $40,000-a-year job.
A former campaign aide told NBC 4 New York said he disassociated with Mack when he "saw the way he was going."
"This is not a surprise," Jerell Blakley said of the probe into Mack's activities. "A lot of people in Trenton were of the opinion -- not of if, but when."
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