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4 of last 7 Atlantic City mayors faced criminal charges

By David Wildstein, October 03 2019 4:33 pm

Frank Gilliam is the fourth mayor of Atlantic City to face legal issues since the city changed their form of government in 1981.

In all, four of the seven mayors have faced criminal charges during their time in office.

* Michael Matthews, an assemblyman and former freeholder, was elected mayor in 1982.  He was recalled in 1984 amidst allegations that two reputed mobsters had funneled money into his mayoral campaign.   Two weeks after the recall, federal prosecutions charged him with attempted extortion and taking bribes – and for dealings with Philadelphia mob boss Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo for tears.

There were also allegations that President Donald Trump funneled money into the Matthews for Mayor campaign through an intermediary, since casino owners are not permitted to contribute to New Jersey political campaigns.

* Jim Usry, who was elected mayor in the 1984 recall of Matthews, was charged with accepting bribes in 1989.  The charges were later dropped, and he pleaded guilty to failing to report campaign contributions.

* In a truly bizarre happenstance, Bob Levy became a national news story in 2007 when he disappeared from Atlantic City for two weeks without telling anyone where he went.  Levy, elected in 2006 after serving as chief of the Atlantic City Beach Patrol, had exaggerated what was an impressive military career in Vietnam.  He wound up pleading guilty to defrauding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for receiving benefits for which he wasn’t entitled.

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