The Edison Blog: Edison, New Jersey

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Spicuzzo charged with misconduct, resigns as MCDO chair

Posted by edison1205 on March 7, 2011

Joe Spicuzzo, the long-time Middlesex County sheriff who left the post last year after 30 years on the job, was arrested and charged in a criminal complaint today with pattern of official misconduct and bribery.  Each charges carries a maximum of sentence of 10 years in prison, with a five-year minimum.

The charges allege that

on two or more occasions from 2007 to 2008, while serving as county sheriff, Spicuzzo demanded that different individuals pay him bribes in return for him appointing them as new sheriff’s investigators or promoting them within the sheriff’s office. Sheriff’s officers are hired through the civil service system, but sheriff’s investigators are appointed by the sheriff. It is alleged that Spicuzzo solicited and accepted individual bribes of up to $25,000 from new hires for investigator positions. He allegedly took bribes totaling at least $50,000.

By early afternoon, Spicuzzo resigned his position as chairman of the Middlesex County Democratic Organization, a position he had held for 16 years.  Helen Gottlieb of Edison, the vice-chair, has assumed leadership of the organization.

The press release from the Attorney General’s office announcing the charges can be found here.

Star-Ledger coverage of the developments can be found here and here.

The charges and allegations against Spicuzzo contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


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