Second arrest in Spicuzzo case

Attorney General Paula Dow has announced a second arrest in connection with corruption charges against former Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Joe Spicuzzo.

Sheriff’s Officer Paul Lucarelli, 45, of South River, was arrested at his home on charges of conspiracy to commit official misconduct and conspiracy to commit bribery for allegedly collecting $25,000 in bribes on behalf of Spicuzzo from an individual seeking to be hired as a sheriff’s investigator.

Lucarelli has been released without posting bail and has been suspended without pay from his position with the Sheriff’s office.

If convicted he faces 10 years in state prison and a fine of $150,000 on each offense.  Each of the charges carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison without parole.

Spicuzzo was arrested last week after turning himself in to State Police.  The AG alleges that Spicuzzo accepted bribes on at least two occasions from individuals seeking to be hired as Sheriff’s investigators or to be promoted within the department.  Spicuzzo allegedly collected $50,000 in bribes.

Following his arrest, Spicuzzo resigned his position as county chairman and as a commissioner on the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.

Second arrest in Spicuzzo case