FBI Bribery Sting Nets 11 Public Officials in NJ

After 18-month probe, dragnet hauls in state legislators, mayors
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2007 4:31 PM CDT
Mims Hackett Jr., mayor of Orange, N.J., and a state Assemblyman, is seen during a stem cell research bill signing in West Orange, N.J., on July 26, 2007. Hackett and other public officials were arrested...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Following an 18-month corruption probe, FBI raids across New Jersey snared 11 public officials today, and all will face bribery charges, the Newark Star-Ledger reports. The officials, including the mayors of Passaic and Orange, were charged with accepting a total of $150,000 in bribes for steering public contracts to particular companies.

The investigation originated with a school district near Atlantic City and spread across the state. The FBI set up an undercover insurance brokerage company, which successfully bribed some of the officials, then widened the probe when the suspects pointed them toward other officials who might want in on the action.