Indictment and Felony Conviction
On September 6, 2007, the FBI arrested 11 public officials and one civilian after a year-and-a-half long corruption investigation yielded grand jury indictments, against Rivera and other elected officials, including Assembly members Mims Hackett and Alfred E. Steele. Rivera was indicted for demanding and accepting money from John D'Angelo, an insurance broker acting as a cooperating witness for the FBI. D'Angelo pretended to be trying to get insurance coverage contracts from the City of Passaic. The indictment alleges that Rivera accepted a $5,000 bribe to steer insurance business with the City of Passaic and with the Passaic Valley Water Commission, bragging that "I can get four votes easy, easy, easy," to a witness about his ability to obtain approval from the Passaic City Council.
After appearing in front of a magistrate in Trenton and posting bail, Rivera resumed his duties the following day, Friday, September 7. State law permits elected officials to retain their offices even after they are convicted and sentenced; they can only be removed if they are formally impeached. Rivera had stated that he did not intend to resign. Nevertheless, he pleaded guilty to attempted extortion and resigned on May 9, 2008. In 2008, Rivera was sentenced to 21 months in prison.
After serving 16 months at a Federal prison in Ohio, Rivera was transferred to a halfway house in New York, to serve the remainder of his 21 month felony sentence.
Read more about this topic: Samuel Rivera
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