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Democratic Power Broker to Face Racketeering Charges

LocalDemocratic Power Broker to Face Racketeering Charges

Also charged with racketeering in the first degree were: Mr. Norcross’s brother, Philip A. Norcross, 61, of Philadelphia, the chief executive of a Camden-based law firm; Dana L. Redd, 56, of Sicklerville, N.J., a former Camden mayor; William M. Tambussi, 66, of Brigantine, N.J., George Norcross’s longtime personal lawyer; Sidney R. Brown, 67, of Philadelphia, the chief executive of NFI, a trucking and logistics company; and John J. O’Donnell, 61, of Newtown, Pa., an executive of the Michaels Organization, a residential development company.

The crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

“Instead of contributing to the successes of the city of Camden,” Mr. Platkin said as he announced the charges at a news conference in Trenton on June 17, Mr. Norcross led a “criminal enterprise” that “took the Camden waterfront all for themselves.”

As Mr. Platkin spoke, Mr. Norcross, who now lives in Florida, was seated in the front row, uninvited. Later, outside the Hughes Justice Complex, Mr. Norcross accused Mr. Platkin of carrying out a personal vendetta, calling him a “coward” and a “politician masquerading as an attorney general.”

“He’s innocent,” Mr. Norcross’s lawyer, Michael Critchley, added. “He’s not afraid of the accusations.”

The charges against Mr. Norcross were another mark on New Jersey’s blemished political reputation. The state’s senior U.S. senator, Robert Menendez, is in his ninth week of a corruption trial, charged by federal prosecutors with accepting cash, gold bars and a Mercedes-Benz in exchange for doling out favors for allies.

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