Tony Teixeira, the chief of staff for Senate President Nick Scutari (D-Linden) and a major player in Union County politics, will plead guilty to charges of income tax evasion and mail fraud next month, the New Jersey Globe has learned from two individuals with knowledge of the plea.
“Tony Teixeira will be admitting to federal tax violations. I have received his resignation,” Scutari said.
According to Scutari, Tim Lydon will serve as his acting chief of staff in addition to his duties as executive director of the Senate Democrats.
“Tony has unquestionably endured his share of hardships, and while he has served the public in many admirable capacities and is a friend, nonetheless he erred and I acknowledge that. I am glad Tony is accepting responsibility for his personal financial actions,” Scutari said. “Whether you are in elected office or serving as a member of staff, residents deserve the highest of standards and public officials beyond reproach.”
The investigation into Teixeira came about as a result of a separate investigation into Sean Caddle, a former political operative accused of hiring hitmen to murder a political rival, but the charges brought against him are not related to that investigation.
Teixeira, who is also the chairman of the Elizabeth municipal Democratic organization, worked with Caddle on school board races in Elizabeth, and state investigators were reportedly investigating payments Caddle allegedly made to Teixeira even before news broke of the murder investigation into Caddle.
From 2013 to 2018, Teixeira served as chief of staff for State Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Elizabeth), whose former campaign manager was Caddle.
In 2018, Teixeira became chief of staff for Scutari, who was at the time the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. When Scutari was unexpectedly promoted to Senate President at the beginning of this year after former Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford)’s shock loss, Teixeira stayed with him, thus becoming one of the most powerful staffers in state government.
There’s no indication Scutari is at all involved in the charges being brought against Teixeira, which predated his employment with the Union County senator.
“We constantly strive to earn the trust and confidence of the people of New Jersey, and I look forward to continuing our hard work on behalf of our great State,” Scutari stated.
This story was updated at 5:31 PM on October 29 with comment from Scutari.