New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin has announced criminal charges against the mayor of Clark, Salvator Bonaccorso, after an investigation into alleged racial slurs made by the mayor. During his tenure as mayor, Bonaccorso operated his landscaping and illegal tank removal business out of his township office, utilizing municipal resources to run the company. He is also accused of witness tampering and falsifying records, including using an engineer’s name, license number, and forged signature on permit applications submitted to municipalities for tank removals.
When contacted by CBS New York, a spokesperson for Bonaccorso had no comment. Attempts to reach him at his residence were unsuccessful. A Clark resident expressed their opinion that if a mayor or anyone else is engaging in illegal activities, they should resign. Another resident stated that Clark is a great place and that Bonaccorso has improved it significantly compared to the previous mayor. However, these comments were made before the charges were officially announced.
In addition to the allegations against Bonaccorso, another investigation into the police department and its chief led to a 43-page report accusing them of racially-motivated arrests as well as a failure to investigate allegations of misconduct. The report stated that Black individuals were arrested at a disproportionate rate. Records obtained by the attorney general’s office were insufficient to charge police officials, and as a result, the police department is now under county supervision.
Christine Sloan is an Emmy Award-winning reporter who covers New Jersey for CBS 2 New York. She returned to the station in January 2023 after previously working there from 2004 to 2016.