– Attorney General Paula T. Dow and
Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor
announced that New Jersey Assemblyman Anthony
Chiappone pleaded guilty today to filing
false reports with the New Jersey Election
Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).
to Director Taylor, Chiappone, 52, of Bayonne,
who represents the 31st Legislative District,
pleaded guilty to a third-degree charge
of tampering with public records or information
before Superior Court Judge Gerald J. Council
in Mercer County. As a result of the guilty
plea, Chiappone must forfeit his seat in
the New Jersey General Assembly and will
be permanently excluded from holding public
office in New Jersey.
pleading guilty, Chiappone admitted that
he completed and certified the campaign
contribution and expenditure reports filed
with ELEC for the 2005 Chiappone for Assembly
campaign, knowing that they were false because
they failed to report five state-issued
paychecks for a legislative aide totaling
$3,233.64 that were deposited into the campaign
account. He falsely certified that contributions
to the campaign did not exceed ELEC limits,
even though the total of the aide’s
checks exceeded the limit of $2,600 for
contributions from a single individual.
The state will recommend that Chiappone
be sentenced to a term of probation. Judge
Council scheduled sentencing for Sept. 10.
Deputy Attorney General Susan Kase prosecuted
the case and took the guilty plea for the
Division of Criminal Justice Corruption
people of New Jersey have a right to expect
that their elected officials will uphold
the law and act honestly in all official
matters,” said Attorney General Dow.
“Assemblyman Chiappone must forfeit
his public office because he broke the law,
dishonestly attempting to evade campaign
tip from a citizen led to the prosecution
of this state assemblyman and his removal
from office,” said Director Taylor.
“We hope prosecutions such as this
one will encourage members of the public
to report suspected misconduct to the Division
of Criminal Justice. We will vigorously
pursue any leads in our fight against public
charge was contained in an Aug. 26, 2009
state grand jury indictment which also named
Chiappone’s wife, Diane. The charges
against her will be dismissed based on his
investigation was led by Deputy Attorney
General Kase, Detective Melissa Calkin and
Sgt. Joseph Caloiaro of the Division of
Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau.
was first elected to the Assembly in 2003.
He lost the Democratic primary in June 2005,
but was elected to the Assembly again in
November 2007. He was re-elected in November
2009. He also served as a city councilman
for Bayonne from 1998 to 2009.
Taylor noted that the Division of Criminal
Justice Corruption Bureau has established
a toll-free Corruption Tipline 1-866-TIPS-4CJ.
The public can also log on to the Division’s
Web site www.njdcj.org
to confidentially report suspected wrongdoing.