CRIME: Weeding the Garden State

For years municipal corruption in New Jersey has been almost a folkloric way of life. During his heyday in the '30s, Jersey City Political Boss Frank ("I am the law") Hague blithely told a reporter he did not understand the fuss over kickbacks to city officials because "I think 3%—the rate for city employees and contractors—is a bargain for getting good service." The difference today is that service has declined while kickbacks have more than doubled with inflation, and Jerseyites will not tolerate that kind of arithmetic.

Last week, in an ever-tightening net that has already trapped former Newark Mayor Hugh...

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