After taking what the top law enforcement official in New Jersey called a “corruption tour” of the state, federal authorities have arrested 11 public officials charged in a cash-for-contracts bribery scheme, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. All were accused of taking cash in exchange for their influence in awarding contracts. “Today you saw another example of the disease that infects New Jersey – the disease of corruption that spreads like wildfire from south to north,” said Christopher Christie, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.
Christie said the criminal charges only “scratch the surface” of corruption across the state. “It’s been six years now doing this job, and I thought I could no longer be surprised by a combination of brazenness, arrogance and stupidity,” said Christie, who has made public corruption cases a priority. The investigation, which included hundreds of encounters secretly recorded on audiotape or video, began about 18 months ago as an FBI undercover operation targeting corrupt members of the Pleasantville school board.