Konch Magazine - Corruption & Mystery in Newark

Corruption & Mystery In Newark


Newark has been accused of corruption. And though often the accusation, like Booker’s twisted opponent in the NJ Senatorial races, Lonegan,  talking about bodies floating in the Passaic, or his fascination with Booker’s sexuality, such extreme characterization are for specific partisan political use. There was Hugh Addonizio, Newark Mayor in the 60’s, who the courts indicted and convicted him of giving 1% of the city’s municipal  budget to the mob.

            Recently the racist smell around Mayor Sharpe James imprisonment  for giving  city  land away, when even in the formal makeup of Newark’s infrastructure such a practice in not possible, since the parceling off of the city’s land must be voted on by the  City Council and present Mayor,  Cory Booker, who signified against James, was himself a member of that council that voted the land to a Tamika Riley.

            Chris Christie was the prosecutor in the James trial, sending the Mayor to federal prison for 18 months. That’s how Christie got elected Governor, since nothing makes racists happier than putting a well known Black person in prison, guilty or not.

            This would also index Booker’s getting closer to Christie. Such an alliance, we have seen, functions even today, in this miasma of opportunism, apparent corruption and smelly deal making. Christie has also figured prominently, as befits his outsized self, to forging weird ties with supposed Democrats, e.g. Essex county chief executive, Joe DiVincenzo, who even the Star Ledger says could use a deodorant around his political dealings.

            The widely communicated accusation that Joe D has been giving out Federal moneys intended for poor people to his cronies was made initially by Connie Crawford, who was running the DCA Dept. of Community Action, Crawford stated that as soon as Federal money started coming in to help needy Essex County residents, in 2009, a “mysterious account” was set up and the money began flowing to a whole list of folks recommended, MS Crawford insists, according to people in his office, by Joe D. A list that showed “no appreciable need”, according to the Federal standards. These folks, of course, were Joe D’s specially chosen folk.

             A Dominick Scaglione, in Joe D’s office as Essex County inspector general, tried to clean up by saying the program has done “a great job”, saying also that MS Crawford denied making the accusation, but the next day MS Crawford repeated the accusation, confirming that’s exactly what she’d said.

            South ward Councilman, and Newark mayoral candidate, Ras Baraka named no names but still said that such an accusation should be investigated by Federal investigators opposing Joe D’s suggestion that the charges be investigated by someone in his office. Like asking Jack The Ripper whether his knives had blood on them.

            What is even more  smelly is that the DCA office set up in East Orange was run, until recently, by Anibal Ramos, the North Ward councilman who is now a candidate for Mayor.

            What makes this picture sinister is that now you have one Mayoral candidate Darin Sharif, who spoke at length at his inauguration how Ras Baraka “sent troops” to get him elected, finally by 11 votes. But apparently this is now dismissed since he has announced he is running for Mayor opposing Baraka. This might be the funkiest election  in decades since the father, Carl Sharif, has announced that he is working for candidate, Shavar Jeffries, an ex-NJ Deputy Attorney General, armed with money from the downtown business district, who feel Jeffries  state bureaucratic profile has prepared him to follow their dictates rather than the people of Newark, whom he’s had has little contact with.

            But some people are wondering how Sharif & Sharif can be working for different candidates and maybe they’re both teaming up as paid operatives to split the Black vote and get Ramos in position for a run-off with Baraka. But this is being said at least across the Black Newark community, accompanied by derisive laughter directed at the father and son who are trying to split the Black vote! One, apparently a naïve false face, the other a professional vote slinger who is simply getting paid for his deviltry. The laughter sounds like somebody’s identifying them at the same time, “Ho, Ho, Ho, Ras Baraka  still gonna win!”