Ending ‘sad chapter’ in Trenton history, former Mayor Tony Mack gets prison time

 U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman speaks with reporters after former Trenton Mayor Tony Mack was sentenced to 58 months in prison. (Phil Gregory/for NewsWorks)

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman speaks with reporters after former Trenton Mayor Tony Mack was sentenced to 58 months in prison. (Phil Gregory/for NewsWorks)

Former Trenton Mayor Tony Mack has been sentenced to 58 months in prison following his conviction on corruption charges.

Mack was found guilty in February of bribery, extortion, and fraud for accepting thousands of dollars in exchange for using his influence to expedite development of a downtown parking garage. The development plan turned out to be an FBI sting and no project actually existed.

Calling it the “end of a sad chapter” in the capital city’s history, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said what Mack did not only sold out the citizens of Trenton, but also stained public officials.

“It’s very difficult for other people who are honest public servants to avoid the mistrust that comes and the cynicism that comes when somebody like Tony Mack sells his office,” said Fishman outside federal court in Trenton.

Mack, 48, did not speak at the court proceedings and showed no emotion when the judge announced the sentence.

Describing his client as “a rock,” attorney Mark Davis said Mack was “doing as well as can be under the circumstances. He’s holding up, and he’ll get through this sentence just fine.”

One of the organizers of a failed effort to oust Mack from office in 2011 said he deserved a tougher penalty.

“I believe that he should have gotten more time,” said David Ponton. “When his lawyer said that no one was harmed, there were 88,000 residents in the city of Trenton that were actually harmed.”

Shortly after Mack’s sentencing, his brother, Ralphiel Mack, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for his part in the conspiracy.

Tony Mack, elected to office in 2010 and indicted in 2012, was also fined $3,000 and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service after his prison term ends.

That term will not begin immediately; federal Judge Michael Shipp said Mack should be sent to the closest available facility near Smithville, North Carolina, where the former mayor now lives.

Davis said he expects that his client will serve a significantly shorter time than his 58-month sentence.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.