Written by: Sam Orlando
Corruption Charges Against Mayor Bonaccorso
UNION COUNTY, NEW JERSEY - Clark Township, NJ, is reeling from a scandal as Mayor Salvatore Bonaccorso faces serious corruption charges. The New Jersey Attorney General, Matthew Platkin, and the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) have accused Bonaccorso of submitting false paperwork to facilitate his landscaping company’s illicit removal of hundreds of underground storage tanks across numerous municipalities.
The Alleged Misuse of Office
Investigations allege that, while serving as mayor, Bonaccorso operated his landscaping and tank-removal business from the mayoral office, using municipal resources. This included storing business records at his township office, utilizing township computers, fax machines, and other devices, and having township employees assist in his private business operations.
Charges Detailing Misconduct
Bonaccorso, 63, is charged with second-degree official misconduct, third-degree tampering with public records, third-degree witness tampering, fourth-degree forgery, and falsifying records. Authorities claim he misused an engineer's name and license, forging signatures on permit applications for tank removals without the required inspections. The attorney general's office alleges that neither Bonaccorso nor his company were licensed for such work, with the illegal operations amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars between 2017 and 2023.
Racist and Sexist Remarks Controversy
Adding to the mayor's troubles, Bonaccorso was previously embroiled in controversy over racist and sexist recordings. These recordings allegedly captured him using racial slurs against Jewish and Black people. The scandal led to public outrage and calls for his resignation. In response, Bonaccorso issued an apology, stating, "I've made mistakes... I'm embarrassed and ashamed." He promised change, acknowledging that the world had been his teacher.
AG's Call for Police Department Reforms
The state attorney general's office also issued a report on alleged misconduct within the Clark police department, recommending the firing of the former police chief and an internal affairs sergeant. While no criminal charges were warranted, reforms were suggested to ensure fair policing in Clark Township.
The Mayor's Defense
Despite the charges and the surrounding controversy, Bonaccorso's attorney, Michael Robertson, declined to comment. Bonaccorso has denied the allegations and is prepared to vigorously defend himself in court.
Impact on the Community
The town of Clark and its residents are now grappling with the implications of these charges and the mayor's controversial past. As the community seeks answers and accountability, Breaking Through News will continue to cover this unfolding story, providing updates on the legal proceedings and the community's response to these developments.