Residents, Camden leaders react to power broker George Norcross charges

One day after South Jersey Democratic power broker George Norcross is charged with lining his pockets in the misuse of a state program, Camden’s mayor said the documents opened Tuesday do not represent what happens in the city daily.

There was celebration in Camden’s Bergen Square as a mountain of contaminated waste is finally hauled off and the lot cleared for potential future development.

But, amid the good feelings, the corruption charges leveled against power broker George Norcross hung in the air. Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen said, "There were some documents opened up yesterday that by no means represent the realities of what we’re seeing on the ground in Camden every day."

In a sprawling, 13-count indictment, New Jersey’s Attorney General accuses the 68-year-old South Jersey Democrat of using his power to muscle rivals aside to enrich himself in the redevelopment of Camden’s waterfront. Matthew Platkin, New Jersey’s Attorney General, said in a Monday press conference, "The Norcross Enterprise took the waterfront all to themselves as George Norcross himself said, quote, ‘This is for our friends.’"


Powerful New Jersey political power broker George Norcross charged with racketeering

New Jersey’s attorney general has charged influential Democratic power broker George Norcross with racketeering and other charges in connection with government issued tax credits, according to an indictment unsealed Monday.

After a lengthy investigation, the Attorney General alleges Norcross, along with his brother Philip, their longtime attorney, and former mayor Dana Redd, controlled a state program to redevelop poor communities and filled their pockets. Norcross called the charges a "political vendetta."

Fellow Democrats, Tuesday, were cautious. Jeffrey Nash is a veteran member of the Camden County Board of Commissioners. He told FOX 29’s Jeff Cole, "I’m not going to have any comments today. Everyday I’m concerned for Camden, but I’m not going to comment on something I’m not overly familiar with, at this point."

The indictment links Norcross and his allies to prominent buildings along the waterfront and alleges he threatened a developer. Platkin said, "When the developer wouldn’t relinquish his rights on terms preferred by the Norcross Enterprise, Norcross threatened the developer that he would ‘F*** you up like you’ve never been f-ed up before.’"

Tuesday afternoon at Camden City Hall, activists who say they’ve long complained about Norcross, and the "political machine" rallied while city leaders largely remained tight-lipped.