On the series finale of The Sopranos, there was a not-too-subtle reference to political corruption: the prosecution of a fictional Essex County Commissioner named James Treffolio. Some PoliticsNJ.com readers say they believe Treffolio is a pseudonym for former Essex County Executive James Treffinger, who served a stint in a federal prison in 2004. In his 1994 and 1998 campaigns for County Executive, Treffinger carried North Caldwell, the Soprano’s home town, by wide margins.
Treffinger annoyed Soprano’s producer David Chase several years ago when he refused to allow the show to film at the Essex County courthouse.
This was the second time the Sopranos used an Essex County politician in their show. During seasons three and four, one character was Ronald Zellman, an Assemblyman from Newark who represented the fictional 41st legislative district.