Clark, NJ

Clark Twp Mayor Charged in Major Misconduct and Forgery Case

Morristown Minute
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NJ Attorney General Charges Clark Mayor with Falsifying Records, Forgery, and Official Misconduct.Photo byMorristown Minute

Clark Township Mayor Salvatore Bonaccorso has been charged with serious offenses, including official misconduct, forgery, and falsifying records, as announced by New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin.

These charges stem from allegations of misusing township property and employees for personal business gains and submitting fraudulent permit applications for underground storage tank removals.

Salvatore Bonaccorso, the 63-year-old Mayor of Clark Township, New Jersey, stands accused of several criminal activities.

The charges against Bonaccorso include official misconduct, falsifying public records, witness tampering, forgery, and tampering with records. These stem from his alleged operation of a tank-removal business using township resources and submitting false permit applications for underground storage tank removals.

The charges were filed on November 20, 2023, following an extensive investigation by the OPIA Corruption Bureau. The misconduct and fraudulent activities allegedly occurred in Clark Township, New Jersey, and involved nearly two dozen municipalities.

The charges allege Bonaccorso exploited his position as mayor to benefit his private business, Bonaccorso & Son LLC, and circumvented New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regulations.

The investigation revealed Bonaccorso allegedly used municipal resources, including his township office and employees, for his private business operations. Additionally, he is accused of forging an engineer's signature on permit applications for tank removals and misleading municipalities about the supervision of these projects.

Key Details:

  • Bonaccorso has been Clark's mayor since 2001.
  • The fraudulent activities are estimated to amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Bonaccorso also faces charges of witness tampering.

If convicted, Bonaccorso could face several years in prison and substantial fines. Second-degree charges carry up to 10 years in prison, third-degree charges up to five years, and fourth-degree offenses up to 18 months.

Attorney General Platkin emphasized the betrayal of public trust in this case, highlighting the misuse of public property and employees for personal gain.

Any elected leader who abuses his power and position and misuses public property and public employees for his own benefit, at taxpayers’ expense, betrays the public’s trust,” said Attorney General Platkin. “In this instance, the complaint charges that the defendant also abused the trust of officials in other towns, allegedly submitting fraudulent documents with forged signatures to enrich his company while circumventing New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regulations.”

Thomas J. Eicher, Executive Director of OPIA, stressed the importance of maintaining public faith in government and vowed continued efforts to combat corruption.

Our complaint alleges the mayor was committing criminal acts for many years to enable his company to offer services it was not authorized or permitted to perform,” said Thomas J. Eicher, Executive Director of OPIA. “The people’s faith and confidence in government is eroded when public officials act improperly, and my office will continue its diligent work to root out corruption.”

It is important to note that these charges are accusations, and Bonaccorso is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa A. Queen is leading the prosecution, under the supervision of the OPIA Corruption Bureau.

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