Democrat Power Broker Indicted for Extensive Influence Peddling

A 13-count indictment alleges that Norcross used his "power and influence to craft legislation."

Democrat “political heavyweight” George Norcross III has been indicted on 13 counts related to influence peddling. The powerful former chair of the Camden Democratic Party and DNC committee member has never held elected office. Instead, he built “the South Jersey Democratic machine, which has exerted its influence on elected officials statewide and state policy for decades.” Using that influence to carve out lucrative real estate deals for yourself is heavily frowned upon, even in New Jersey.

Indicted for influence

Norcross was indicted earlier but the charges weren’t revealed until Monday, June 17. That’s when New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin unsealed a 13-count document alleging that Norcross used his “power and influence to craft legislation.” Specifically, to benefit his development project in Camden. Platkin alleges that the “enterprise received $29 million in tax credits from the state.” For starters.

Allegedly, “the co-conspirators worked to influence state lawmakers to rewrite a New Jersey state economic growth tax credit law in 2013.” The law “is for our friends” Norcross boasted. He “wanted to be able to use the legislation to construct an office building for free.

The conduct Norcross was indicted for, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin relates, “has caused great harm to individuals, businesses, nonprofits, the people of the state of New Jersey, and especially to the city of Camden.” For instance, “one example of an edit made by co-conspirators was allowing for the cost of repairs of a pier, wharf, or bulkhead to be included in the calculation for a tax credit based on the edits provided by co-conspirators.

The “Norcross Enterprise” then built a pier in Camden. Norcross made a point of sitting right in the front row where he could focus an icy stare at Platkin while he announced the charges. Staffers politely asked him to move but he insisted on his constitutional right to sit where he chose.

Afterward, he talked to reporters outside, using the standard Democrat tactic of switching to an offensive stance and bluffing it out. Being indicted clearly rattled his cage hard.

I want Matt Platkin to come down here and try this case himself, because he’s a coward, because he has forced people in this building to implement his will.” That’s another favorite trick of the Democrats, accusing their opponent of something they’re guilty of themselves.

Norcross made a point of sitting right in the front row where he could focus an icy stare at Platkin while he announced the charges.

Waterfront tax credits

The investigation started long before Norcross was indicted. Back in 2016, “federal investigators wiretapped Norcross’s phone regarding the Camden waterfront tax credits.” They didn’t get enough to file charges but used it to continue the probe.

Meanwhile, Governor Murphy “opened his own investigation into the law Norcross and his co-conspirators used to receive tax credits.

A decade earlier, “the state investigated Norcross for pressuring an official to punish political adversaries by withholding jobs and contracts.

He wasn’t indicted that time because “the investigation was taken over by then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, who accused the state of mishandling the investigation.” They have more than enough evidence this time around.

Philip Norcross, George Norcross’s younger brother, was also indicted. He’s managing partner and CEO of Parker McCay and a registered agent for the Norcross enterprise. He’s quoted in the paperwork boldly declaring “we rewrote a tax credit law in New Jersey, that says in essence, if you come to Camden, we’re going to give you 100 percent tax credit for all capital and related costs. As long as you bring some jobs in.

Norcross’s personal attorney, William Tambussi, was also charged. Tambussi “has also served as the counsel to the Camden County Democratic Committee.” Former Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd was dragged into the net because she “previously served on the Camden City Council and the New Jersey Senate and as Camden’s mayor from 2010 to 2018.” Finally, Sidney Brown, the CEO of a trucking and logistics company and John O’Donnell, who owns several Camden buildings, were indicted.