Charged in federal sting, Trenton mayor follows tradition in refusal to resign

Trenton Mayor Tony Mack is still on the job following his arrest Monday on federal corruption charges. His refusal to resign is not unusual in the Garden State.

Politicians in New Jersey who are charged with a crime can’t be forced out of office until they’re convicted. That can take up to a year or more after their arrest.

Monmouth University political analyst Patrick Murray says it’s almost become standard operating procedure for those officials to try to keep their elected office as long as they can.

“We’ve seen that with a number of state legislators. For example, Sharpe James, who was also mayor of Newark, Wayne Bryant, and a number of others who have held onto their seats until it was well past time for them to go,” Murray said.

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Political analysts says officials who don’t resign after being arrested lose their effectiveness and cause people to lose confidence in government.

Bob Ingle, who co-authored “The Soprano State: New Jersey’s Culture of Corruption.” He says it’s not unusual for politicians in the Garden State who’ve been arrested to try to stay in office as long as they can.

“There’s a couple of problems with that. The first one is that after someone has been indicted and arrested although they haven’t had a trial they can never be as effective,” Ingle said. “The other side of it is that people are just losing confidence in their government.”

Lawmakers of both parties have called for Democrat Mack to step down.

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