Joe Ferriero, former Bergen County Democratic Chair, was found guilty today of racketeering, wire fraud and bribery-related charges. He was acquitted in Newark Federal Court on two other counts – conspiracy to promote bribery and mail fraud.
He has been credited with engineering the resurgence of his party in Bergen County. However, in 2008 he was indicted in federal court on eight mail fraud counts. He was found guilty on three counts and sentenced to prison. In 2010 he was released when a judge vacated the decision. He was indicted again in 2013 and has just been found guilty. Sentencing has been set for July 27.
New Jersey’s history is replete with party bosses, from Republican Enoch L. Johnson (aka HBO’s Enoch “Nucky” Thompson) who controlled Atlantic City during prohibition to Democrat George Norcross whose influence today stretches from Camden to the governor’s office and beyond. These individuals have become a part of New Jersey’s fabric – often bending politics and business to their will.
Ferriero’s prosecution was conducted under the direction of Paul Fishman, United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey. With this trial now completed successfully, we may soon hear more from Mr. Fishman on indictments of other big fish.