Arrests could be first test of Panter’s ethics reform law

Today's arrests could be the first real test of Assemblyman Michael Panter's legislation (A-20), which requires mandatory prison sentences and pension forfeiture for any public officials convicted of corruption. Governor Jon "Hold Me Accountable" Corzine signed the bill on March 16th of this year and it took effect on April 15th. Criminal complaints filed today by the U.S. Attorney could mean that Assemblymen Alfred Steele and Mims Hackett, Passaic Mayor Sammy Rivera, Passaic Councilman Marcellus Jackson, and Keith Reid, the Chief of Staff to the Newark City Council President, would lose their pensions if convicted of bribery.