– Attorney General Paula T. Dow and
Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor
announced that John P. Corea, the former director
of the Hoboken Parking Utility, has pleaded
guilty to official misconduct for his role
in the theft of $600,000 by a Toms River contractor
whose company was hired by the City of Hoboken
to collect coins from city parking meters.
to Director Taylor, Corea, 47, of Hoboken,
pleaded guilty on Friday afternoon (Dec.
16), to a second-degree charge of official
misconduct before Superior Court Judge Francis
R. Hodgson Jr. in Ocean County. The state
will recommend under the plea agreement
that Corea be sentenced to eight years in
state prison, including three years of parole
ineligibility. He must pay $300,000 in restitution
to the City of Hoboken and will be permanently
barred from public employment in New Jersey.
The charge against Corea was contained in
an indictment obtained as a result of an
investigation by the Division of Criminal
Justice and the New Jersey State Police.
defendant corruptly exploited his public
office, at a high cost to the City of Hoboken,”
said Attorney General Dow. “We are
seeking a lengthy prison sentence for this
flagrant betrayal of trust.”
this difficult fiscal climate, taxpayers
need to have confidence that government
officials will act as honest and vigilant
stewards of all public revenues,”
said Director Taylor. “We will continue
to aggressively investigate and prosecute
corrupt public officials such as Corea.”
Attorney General Jeffrey J. Manis took the
guilty plea for the Division of Criminal
Justice Corruption Bureau. Judge Hodgson
will schedule Corea to be sentenced in February
pleading guilty, Corea admitted, among other
things, that, while director of the Hoboken
Parking Utility, he steered three separate
no-bid contracts to United Textile Fabricators
to collect, count and manage the coins from
the city’s parking meters. He admitted
that he made false statements to the city
council about the qualifications and experience
of the company, which is a coin-operated
arcade game manufacturer. He further admitted
that he came to believe that United Textile
and its owner, Brian A. Petaccio, 51, of
Toms River, had stolen a substantial amount
of the city’s parking revenues, but
did not take any steps to stop the thefts
or notify the city.
pleaded guilty on Sept. 30, 2009 to an accusation
charging him with second-degree theft by
unlawful taking for stealing more than $1.1
million in coins from Hoboken’s parking
meters between June 2005 and April 2008.
Petaccio faces up to seven years in prison
under his plea agreement and also must pay
$300,000 in restitution to the City of Hoboken.
After an audit in 2007 uncovered parking
revenue shortfalls, Petaccio and his company
returned approximately $575,000 to the city.
However, Petaccio admitted, in pleading
guilty, that he diverted an additional $600,000
that was not reported to the city. Petaccio
will also be scheduled for sentencing in
case was prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General
Jeffrey J. Manis of the Division of Criminal
Justice Corruption Bureau. The investigation
was conducted by Detective Peter Layng of
the State Police Official Corruption Bureau
North Unit and Sgt. Lisa Shea of the Division
of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau, with
additional assistance from Deputy Attorney
General Perry Primavera and Administrative
Analyst Kathleen Ratliff, also of the Division
of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau.
General Dow and Director Taylor noted that
the Division of Criminal Justice has established
a toll-free Corruption Tipline for the public
to report corruption, financial crime and
other illegal activities: 1-866-TIPS-4CJ.
Additionally, the public can log on to the
Division website at www.njdcj.org
to report suspected wrongdoing. All information
received through the tipline or webpage
will remain confidential.