Former Middlesex County Sheriff Joseph C. Spicuzzo was sentenced to nine years in state prison on Friday for his practices of collecting bribes while he headed the county Sheriff's Office.
According to a press release from the state Office of the Attorney General, Spicuzzo, 68, of Helmetta, pleaded guilty on June 25 to a second-degree charge of bribery.
Spicuzzo collected about $112,000 from eight people people seeking jobs or promotions in the sheriff's office between March 1996
and November 2008, while serving as county sheriff, according to the Attorney General's Office.
His sentence comes with two years of parole ineligibility, according to the release. He must also pay a $55,000 fine, has forfeited his pension and is barred from holding a public job in New Jersey.
Former sheriff's office investigator Darrin P. DiBiasi was also sentenced to jail for his role in the cash-for-jobs scheme, having pleaded guilty on June 25 to a third-degree charge of conspiracy to make illegal gifts to a public servant
DiBiasi, 45, of Monmouth Junction, was sentenced to 364 days in county jail as a condition of five years or probation. He must also pay a $5,000 fine and serve 200 hours of community service. He is also barred from public employment in New Jersey.
Former sheriff's officer Paul A. Lucarelli, 48, of South River also pleaded guilty on June 25 to a third-degree charge of conspiracy to make illegal gifts to a public servant and will be sentenced on Oct. 4, according to the release.
Spicuzzo and DiBiasi were sentenced in Monmouth County by Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mellaci Jr.
“Sheriff Spicuzzo’s decades as a political power broker in Middlesex County corrupted him to the point that he viewed jobs in the sheriff’s office as personal assets he could sell for his own enrichment,” said Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman. “Spicuzzo clearly thought he was above the law, because that is the only way to explain his brazen demands for bribes from new recruits. With this prison sentence, we affirm that nobody is above the law in New Jersey."