A second New Jersey mayor arrested in a sweeping federal corruption investigation stepped down on Friday under pressure from voters and the state's governor.
Peter Cammarano, 32, was arrested last week and accused of taking $25,000 in bribes. His resignation comes less than a month after he was sworn in as mayor of Hoboken, an industrial city across the Hudson River from New York.
Cammarano is one of more than 40 people arrested in a federal probe that uncovered political corruption, human organ sales and money laundering from New York to Israel.
The public officials stand accused of taking bribes for pledging their help getting permits and projects prioritized and approved or steering contracts to the witness.
Regrettably, it has turned out that the controversy surrounding the charges against me has become a distraction to me and an impediment to the functioning of Hoboken government, Cammarano, a Democrat, said in his resignation letter.
I am innocent of any criminal charges and I intend to fight the allegations against me.
Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell quit on Tuesday, while a third accused mayor, Anthony Suarez, remains in office in Ridgefield. Both Democrats are accused of accepting $10,000 in bribes.
Elwell's lawyer, Jeffrey Garrigan, said his resignation was not an admission of guilt and he plans to fight the charges.
Gov. Jon Corzine, himself a Democrat, has said all officials swept up in the probe should resign. Also arrested were a state assemblymen, a deputy mayor, city council members, housing, planning and zoning officials, building inspectors and political candidates.
The 10-year investigation exposed influence-peddling and bribe-taking among a network of public officials and a separate multimillion dollar money-laundering ring that funneled funds through charities operated by local rabbis, officials said.
On Tuesday Jack Shaw, 61, a longtime Democratic political consultant, was found dead in a suspected suicide in his Jersey City home. He had been charged with accepting a $10,000 bribe.
Moody's said the credit impact from the case on the local governments involved is likely to be limited.