Assemblymen Mims Hackett and Alfred Steele, and Passaic Mayor Sammy Rivera were among eleven public officials arrested today on what the Star-Ledger called "bribery charges related to roofing and insurance contracts for schools." U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie will hold a news conference in Trenton this afternoon.
Hackett, the Chairman of the Assembly State Government Committee, also serves as the Mayor of Orange. He is Senate President Richard Codey's running mate in the 27th district. Steele, a Minister who also works for the Passaic County Sheriff's Department, is the Assembly Deputy Speaker.
"Often times these allegations end up being not what they appear to be," said Assemblyman Craig Stanley, an Essex County Democrat. "People use these allegations as a reason not to fund school construction. currently, the Schools Development Authority is a different entity from the SCC, and is in a much better position to prevent overruns."
Also arrested was Keith Reid, who serves as the Chief of Staff to City Council President Mildred Crump. Sources say the group includes five officials from Plesantville.
Hackett, 65, has served in the Assembly since 2002. He was an Orange City Councilman from 1988 to 1996, when he was elected Mayor. Only one Republican has filed to run against Hackett and Assemblyman John McKeon: Mark Meyerowitz, a political newcomer from West Orange. Steele, an Assemblyman since 1995, faces Republican Chauncey Brown, a Paterson school board member.