– Orange Mayor and former state Assemblyman
Mims Hackett Jr. pleaded guilty today to
a state charge of official misconduct and
a federal charge of attempted extortion
in separate corruption cases, state Attorney
General Anne Milgram and U.S. Attorney Christopher
Christie announced. Their offices worked
cooperatively to achieve a joint resolution
of the cases.
67, pleaded guilty this afternoon to the
state charge of official misconduct, a second-degree
crime, before Superior Court Judge Michael
J. Nelson in Essex County. In pleading guilty,
Hackett admitted that he fraudulently billed
the City of Orange for travel expenses he
never incurred. An investigation by the
state Division of Criminal Justice determined
that Hackett collected more than $5,700
in fictitious meal expenses.
faces a prison sentence of five years on
the state charge, to be served concurrently
with the sentence for the federal charge.
He was required to forfeit his position
morning, Hackett pleaded guilty to a federal
charge of attempted extortion under color
of official right before U.S. District Judge
Jose L. Linares. Hackett admitted that he
accepted a $5,000 bribe from a cooperating
witness who was representing an undercover
insurance brokerage company in return for
Hackett’s official assistance in steering
public contracts to the company.
the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines,
Hackett faces a sentencing range of between
18 and 24 months in federal prison on that
Hackett took an oath to serve the City of
Orange with honesty and integrity, but instead
he systematically stole thousands of dollars
from the city at a time when it was struggling
to meet its financial obligations and the
needs of its residents,” Attorney
General Milgram said. “We will not
tolerate such corruption and will prosecute
these cases to the full extent of the law.”
is an awful turn of events when people who
hold multiple elective positions use all
of the authority given to them to line their
own pockets,” said U.S. Attorney Christie.
“Mr. Hackett’s criminal conduct
betrayed not only the people of the City
of Orange but the people of the State of
is free on a $200,000 bond pending sentencing.
The federal and state sentencing hearings
are both scheduled for Sept. 15.
to Director Gregory A. Paw, the Division
of Criminal Justice investigation revealed
that Hackett forged receipts for meals at
pricey restaurants and submitted them with
fraudulent expense vouchers for reimbursement
from the City of Orange related to trips
he took as mayor. Hackett frequently attached
handwritten “Guest Check” receipts
that he wrote himself. In other instances,
he submitted fraudulent carbon receipts
imprinted with his credit card. The charges
were not reflected in his credit card records.
must pay restitution to the City of Orange
under the plea agreement.
was arrested by federal authorities on Sept.
6, along with 10 other public officials
and one private citizen as part of a public
corruption investigation. At the federal
plea hearing, Hackett admitted that, on
May 24, 2007, in his capacity as the mayor
of Orange, he agreed to accept a $5,000
cash payment in exchange for assisting the
undercover insurance brokerage company in
attempting to obtain business with the City
of Orange. Hackett also admitted that, on
Aug. 14, 2007, he accepted the $5,000 corrupt
cash payment and stated that he would continue
to support the company. Hackett acknowledged
that the payment was in exchange for using
his official influence in attempting to
get the company insurance brokerage business
General Milgram credited Sgt. Warren H.
Monroe and Deputy Attorney General Michael
Monahan for conducting the state investigation
for the Division of Criminal Justice - Corruption
Bureau. Deputy Attorney General Monahan
is prosecuting the case.
credited Special Agents of the FBI, under
the direction of Special Agent in Charge
Weysan Dun, with the investigation leading
to Hackett’s federal guilty plea.
He also credited prosecutors and investigators
with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s
Office, under the direction of Prosecutor
Theodore F.L. Housel, for their assistance
in the investigation.
federal case is being prosecuted by Assistant
U.S. Attorneys Christopher J. Gramiccioni
and Mark J. McCarren of the Office’s
Special Prosecutions Division, and David
A. Bocian of the U.S. Attorney’s Office
General Milgram and Director Paw noted that
the Division of Criminal Justice - Corruption
Bureau has established a toll-free Corruption
Tipline for the public to report corruption,
financial crime and other illegal activities.
The statewide Corruption Tipline is 1-866-TIPS-4CJ.
Additionally, the public can log on to the
Division of Criminal Justice Web page at
to report suspected wrongdoing. All information
received through the Division of Criminal
Justice Corruption Tipline or Web page will
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