AG Moves to Force Out Trenton Mayor After Conviction

By David Cruz

The man who would be Trenton’s next mayor was working the phones today, or perhaps the phones were working him. Council President George Muschal — who said he was staying away from what he called the city hall circus today — is waiting for the legal process to run its course.

“Because You can’t move anything forward. There’s no bills being paid. Just lawsuit after lawsuit coming in and none of the work is being done, leadership, accountability for people coming to work. People make their own hours in the city of Trenton. This is the best place to work. You’re supposed to work 9 to 5, They come at 11, leaving at 1,” Muschal said.

Convicted Friday on corruption charges, Mayor Tony Mack has been out of sight since, choosing not to resign, forcing the Attorney General to go through the judicial process of forcing him out. The AG’s office issued a statement today.

“[We are] seeking forfeiture of public office, permanent disqualification from any further public office and forfeiture of his pension and any retirement benefits,” said Attorney General’s Office Spokesperson Peter Azeltine.

Since his indictment in 2012, Mack has said repeatedly that he would not step down.

“If you knew what I went through to get this job, you wouldn’t step down either,” Mack said in August.

But the process of removing Mack could take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks because the judge is likely to give him an opportunity to respond to the Attorney General’s motion. How long the court gives Mack to respond is up to the judge. Mack’s attorney did not return our calls seeking comment.

Meanwhile, on the Trenton street, there were mixed feelings about the mayor and his time in city hall.

“Sometimes, you can’t always believe what you hear, what you see and what you read. You can’t always believe that,” said Trenton resident Michael Harris.

“He might be stubborn and say, ‘I’m not gonna give up the job and then they have to go through the courts and all that; that’s a waste of time for the city,” said Trenton resident Wesley Pennoh.

“Well, I think that he got what he deserved; because if you’re stealing like that then you should get punished,” said Aubrey Rice of Trenton.

“You know the media really convicted Tony Mack because I don’t think he was guilty,” said Paul Smith of Trenton.

Muschal used to be a Mack supporter. When asked what changed, Muschal said, “Greed. He lost the honesty, integrity, the loyalty to the people who put him in.”

Mayor Mack could end this stalemate by tendering a letter of resignation. But, as Councilman Muschal put it, what’s good for Tony Mack is not always what’s good for Trenton. Meanwhile, the residents of this city are forced to wait again — for something positive to happen.