Nabbed NJ Pols Lived in 'Ethics-Free Zone': Feds

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2009 2:52 PM CDT
FBI agents lead arrested suspects from their headquarters as part of a corruption investigation.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The 44 New Jersey politicians and New York and New Jersey rabbis arrested this morning were the subject of a 10-year probe, the Newark Star-Ledger reports. “The politicians willingly put themselves up for sale,” the US Attorney says. “For these defendants, corruption was a way of life. They existed in an ethics-free zone.” The rabbis are charged with laundering $3 million through nonprofits in the past 2 years.

“These rings, led by clergymen, cloaked their extensive criminal activity,” Ralph Marra adds. “The rings were international in scope.” An FBI agent says more concerted action is needed. “Corruption in this state will not end due to law enforcement’s effort,” he says. “It’s time for the citizens of New Jersey to ask what do we need to do to wipe the spider web of corruption off the face of this state.”