Innocent until proven guilty. That’s Trenton Mayor Tony Mack’s message, and he’s sticking to it.
Mack invited people inside Trenton City Hall on Tuesday for the first day of his, “Ask the Mayor” program. It was the Mayor’s first meeting since his arrest in mid-September on federal corruption charges. About an hour into the session, attendees began asking the Mayor questions about the allegations against him.
“The grand jury will soon be making public its findings,” said one man. “I think it’s probably a safe assumption that you will be indicted. Should it happen, what’s the plan?”
“Mr. Mayor, I read the FBI document against you,” said a man who referred to himself as “Occupy Trenton.” “Is there anything in there that’s not true?”
“We will not discuss the particulars of those cases,” replied Mack.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is accusing Mack, his brother Raphael and campaign donor Joseph “Jo Jo” Giorgianni, of conspiring to extort more than $100,000 from federal informants posing as city developers. The Mayor’s home and city hall offices were raided in July following a two year investigation that included wiretaps and videotapes. A few weeks ago, Mack fought against City Council attempts to cut his salary in half.
“The message is real clear,” said Mack at Tuesday’s meeting. “In America, you are innocent until proven guilty. And I am innocent!”
The Mayor repeated himself when NBC10 spoke with him after the meeting.
“If a plea bargain is put on the table will you accept it?” asked NBC10’s Monique Braxton.
“In America, you are innocent until proven guilty,” replied Mack. “And I am innocent!”
Mack’s attorney did not return our calls for comment on Tuesday. The attorney for the Mayor’s brother however, told NBC10 that all three of the accused are innocent.