Councilman At-Large Peter Cammarano (2005-2009)

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Councilman At-Large Peter Cammarano

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Attorney: Cammarano lost everything, had rough childhood, Ex-mayor sentenced to two years in prison in corruption bust

Former Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, 33, was a rising star in the Democratic Party 14 months ago – but thanks to an FBI corruption sting last July, “He has been absolutely unemployed … [he’s] lost his marriage and been separated from his child,” said defense attorney Joseph Hayden on Thursday.

Hayden and Cammarano appeared in U.S. District Court in Newark to find out the ex-mayor’s sentence, four months after Cammarano pleaded guilty to accepting $25,000 in illegal campaign contributions from an FBI informant who posed as a real estate developer.

Ex-Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano III Pleads Guilty to Corruption

He was not the one accused of human organ trafficking, nor the money-laundering rabbi. No, in the sprawling corruption sting that shook New Jersey last year, what marked Peter J. Cammarano III, then the mayor of Hoboken, was the spectacle of a promising career blown apart almost before it started.

His downfall became complete on Tuesday, in Federal District Court in Newark, where Mr. Cammarano, 32, pleaded guilty to accepting illegal campaign contributions in return for aiding proposed development projects. The youngest mayor in the city’s history, he served 23 days in that office last year before being arrested and charged, and eight more before resigning. He now faces a probable sentence of 24 to 30 months in prison.

Former Hoboken Mayor Admits Extorting Cash Contributions in Return for Official Influence

NEWARK, N.J. – Peter J. Cammarano III, former Mayor of the City of Hoboken, pleaded guilty today and admitted accepting $25,000 in illicit cash contributions in exchange for exercising his future official influence and authority, United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Cammarano, 32, of Hoboken, appeared before United States District Judge Jose L. Linares and pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal Information charging him with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right. Judge Linares continued Cammarano’s release on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled for August 3, 2010.  At his plea hearing, Cammarano admitted that, while he was an at-large Councilman for the City of Hoboken and candidate for the position of Mayor, he accepted three illicit cash campaign contributions totaling $15,000 from a cooperating witness (“CW”), who purported to be a real estate developer. Cammarano further admitted that on July 16, 2009, after he had been elected and sworn in as Mayor, he accepted an additional $10,000 illicit cash campaign contribution from the CW.

Hoboken's ex-mayor pleads guilty in corruption case

Former Hoboken Mayor Peter J. Cammarano III, an attorney and one-time
rising political star, pleaded guilty Tuesday to accepting $25,000 in illicit campaign contributions in the state’s largest corruption sting.

Dressed in a black suit, Cammarano pleaded guilty to one count of extortion conspiracy, admitting he accepted bribes from an informant posing as a real estate developer seeking favors.

By his plea, Cammarano became the highest-ranking official of the 17 who have pleaded guilty or been convicted since federal authorities rounded up more than 40 people last July in an investigation into money laundering and political influence peddling.

Cammarano elected Hoboken mayor, Zimmer has majority of council

Mayor Elect Peter Cammarano

Hoboken Mayor-elect Peter Cammarano shakes hands with opponent Dawn Zimmer after all the ballots were counted yesterday at the Hudson County Board of Elections office in Jersey City.

After a drawn-out election process, Councilman-at-Large Peter Cammarano edged out Fourth Ward Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer by 161 votes yesterday to become mayor of Hoboken.

"This election has been a long and arduous one and a very close one, but it is over," the 31-year-old Cammarano told Hoboken Now's Carly Baldwin shortly after provisional and newly found absentee ballots were tallied at county Board of Elections offices in Jersey City. "I'm satisfied with this margin of victory."

3rd-place finish stuns Mason

A day later, the shock still hadn't worn off in the Beth Mason camp.

The councilwoman, who expected to win the Hoboken mayoral race, or at least qualify for a runoff election, finished a distant third to fellow council members Peter Cammarano and Dawn Zimmer.

"We were completely blindsided," Mason's campaign manager, Jake Stuiver, said of the 1,000-vote loss to the two candidates who will vie for City Hall in the June 9 runoff. "We had polling as late as over the weekend that still had (Mason) as the frontrunner by a significant margin, so I can't tell you how much we were taken by surprise."

Stuiver attributed Mason's loss to two things: Not building up her base and not getting Mason's message across to voters.

"This election clearly demonstrates that those are two things we didn't do well enough," said Stuiver. "And as campaign manager that's something for which I have to take responsibility."

Cammarano under review

Hoboken Democrats for Hudson County raised $28,000 for City Council candidates Michael Russo, Richard Tremetiedi, Chris Campos and Nino Giacchi

Hoboken Councilman-at-large Peter Cammarano is currently under review by the state Election Law Enforcement Commission for what some allege is improper activity in this past June's state Senate, Assembly and Hoboken municipal elections.

Eric Kurta, a Hoboken resident and president of the reform group People for Open Government, filed the complaint against Cammarano and received a letter from ELEC stating it is opening a review to determine if Cammarano violated election law as the chairman of Hoboken Democrats for Hudson County.