The Jersey Journal just reported that Assemblyman Anthony Chiappone (D-Bayonne) has pleaded guilty in Superior Court to filing false campaign finance reports with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).
The court is requiring Chiappone to forfeit his Assembly seat. He is barred from holding future office.
As part of a plea deal, charges against Chiappone’s wife, Diane, will be dropped.
Regarding how Chiappone’s District 31 seat will be filled, “Over the next couple of days we will have to convene and talk to our lawyers,” said Jason O’Donnell, chair of the Bayonne Democratic Committee.
Although state Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-Jersey City) is one of those Democratic senators who may vote yes on the budget come Monday, Democratic Party sources say her districtmate, Chiappone, was never in the budget equation as one of eight Assembly Democrats expected to vote “aye.”