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Two New Jersey Democratic officials arrested in corrupt political bribery scandals

TRENTON — Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, along with the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA), today announced that two members of the Board of Commissioners of the South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA) have been indicted on charges including second-degree abuse of office and conspiracy to commit abuse of office, and third-degree perjury.

The defendants, 45-year-old Vice President Christopher Milam and 52-year-old Chairman Bryan Bush, both of Sewell, New Jersey, are accused of conspiring to prevent payments to a civil engineering company in what was allegedly political retaliation related to a dispute between a South Jersey Democratic Party leader and a Mercer County Board member.

The ongoing OPIA Corruption Bureau investigation found that Milam and Bush conspired to stop payment for services already performed by the engineering firm and voted at three SJTA board meetings in 2023 to prevent the agency from meeting its financial obligations. The defendants allegedly had no legitimate reasons for their actions, which were allegedly politically motivated.

Attorney General Platkin emphasized that his intention is to hold powerful figures accountable and stated that abuse of office for political purposes will not be tolerated. Drew Skinner, executive director of OPIA, emphasized that Milam and Bush's actions represented a breach of public trust, pointing to their alleged attempts to fabricate justifications for their decisions during grand jury testimony.

Further findings from the investigation indicate that the votes cast by Milam and Bush each time resulted in the board failing to reach the required majority for approval, resulting in the engineering firm's bills not being paid.

There is evidence that the political motives behind these actions are related to a text message from Milam to Bush in which he expressed retaliation against the Mercer County Commissioner for defying party orders.

  • Two New Jersey Democratic officials arrested in corrupt political bribery scandals

    TRENTON — Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, along with the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA), today announced that two members of the Board of Commissioners of the South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA) have been indicted on charges including second-degree abuse of office and conspiracy to commit abuse of office, and third-degree perjury.

    The defendants, 45-year-old Vice President Christopher Milam and 52-year-old Chairman Bryan Bush, both of Sewell, New Jersey, are accused of conspiring to prevent payments to a civil engineering company in what was allegedly political retaliation related to a dispute between a South Jersey Democratic Party leader and a Mercer County Board member.

    The ongoing OPIA Corruption Bureau investigation found that Milam and Bush conspired to stop payment for services already performed by the engineering firm and voted at three SJTA board meetings in 2023 to prevent the agency from meeting its financial obligations. The defendants allegedly had no legitimate reasons for their actions, which were allegedly politically motivated.

    Attorney General Platkin emphasized that his intention is to hold powerful figures accountable and stated that abuse of office for political purposes will not be tolerated. Drew Skinner, executive director of OPIA, emphasized that Milam and Bush's actions represented a breach of public trust, pointing to their alleged attempts to fabricate justifications for their decisions during grand jury testimony.

    Further findings from the investigation indicate that the votes cast by Milam and Bush each time resulted in the board failing to reach the required majority for approval, resulting in the engineering firm's bills not being paid.

    There is evidence that the political motives behind these actions are related to a text message from Milam to Bush in which he expressed retaliation against the Mercer County Commissioner for defying party orders.

  • Baltimore Police Foot Patrol Officers Arrest Suspect for Illegal Handgun

    In the early hours of Thursday morning around 3:18 a.m., Baltimore Police officers on foot patrol in Unit Light Street were alerted to a possibly armed individual nearby. The alert came from colleagues monitoring Citywatch cameras who provided a description of the suspect.

    Police subsequently located a man matching the suspect's description in the West Lombard Street apartment block. After investigation, officers arrested the 23-year-old man and confiscated a 9mm Taurus handgun, which was identified as stolen property from Atlanta, GA.

    The suspect was taken to the central reception facility and is accused of possession of a firearm.

  • Bronx man arrested for fatal February attack

    Alejandro Gonzalez, a 23-year-old man of 1158 Boynton Avenue, Bronx, was arrested on several charges, including first-degree manslaughter and assault. Gonzalez is charged with assault with intent to cause great and lesser bodily injury with a weapon and fourth-degree illegal possession of a weapon.

    The incident that led to these charges occurred early Saturday, February 17, at approximately 4:41 a.m. outside 1206 Stratford Avenue. Police responded to a 911 call and found that EMS had already transported the victim, a 46-year-old man, to NYC Health and Hospitals/Jacobi in critical condition. The victim, identified as Jesus Garcia-Desiderio of 1104 Manor Avenue in the Bronx, succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday, February 20.

    The investigation into this fatal incident is ongoing as authorities attempt to reconstruct the events that led to Garcia-Desiderio's death.

  • Body of woman found by police in Brooklyn

    At approximately 5:05 a.m. on Saturday, police were called to 175 Minna Street in Brooklyn after a 911 call reported an unconscious woman. Upon arrival, officers found a 27-year-old woman unconscious and unresponsive with signs of physical injuries. EMS pronounced the woman dead at the scene.

    The cause of death has yet to be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Authorities are currently conducting an investigation into the incident.

    The identity of the deceased has not been disclosed pending notification of her family.

  • Littleton resident wins $400,000 in second chance lottery

    LITTLETON, CO — Calvin Fitts of Littleton has won the $400,000 top prize in the 2024 Multiply The Cash Second Chance drawing. Fitts received an email notification from the lottery on June 5 informing him of his top prize among more than 50.5 million entrants.

    Fitts visited lottery headquarters on Thursday to claim his winnings. After mandatory state and federal taxes, he took home $286,000.

    Players can enter the Multiply the Cash Second Chance drawing by scanning their scratch cards into their lottery account and automatically entering the drawing. In addition to the $400,000 top prize, four $20,000 prizes and ten $500 prizes were awarded in the last drawing. The next drawing is scheduled for October 9.

  • $3.0 million Pick-6 jackpot won in Burlington County

    TRENTON, NJ — The New Jersey Lottery has announced that a single ticket has won the $3.0 million Pick 6 jackpot in Burlington County. The winning ticket was purchased at the Masonville News & Food Store, 241 Masonville Road in Mount Laurel. As a bonus for selling the winning ticket, the retailer will receive $10,000.

    “Congratulations to our newest Pick 6 winner! This is the second giant jackpot this week,” said General Manager James Carey. “Earlier this week, a ticket from Camden County won over $200 million, making this a great week for South Jersey players!”

    The winning numbers for the drawing on Thursday, June 13th were: 12, 14, 25, 29, 33 and 36. The jackpot will reset to $2 million for the next drawing, scheduled for Monday, June 17th.

    Double Play Results

    Players who added Double Play for an additional $1.00 had a chance to win up to $250,000 in cash. The Double Play drawing results for Thursday, June 13 were: 01, 15, 18, 25, 26 and 40.