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New Jersey governor says indicted mayor of state capital should resign

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie visits fifth grade students at Berkeley Elementary School in Westwood, New Jersey, November 6, 2012 in th
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie visits fifth grade students at Berkeley Elementary School in Westwood, New Jersey, November 6, 2012 in th

By Dave Warner

TRENTON, New Jersey (Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Monday urged the mayor of the state capital Trenton to resign following his indictment on federal corruption charges.

Trenton Mayor Tony Mack's indictment last week, which accuses him of taking bribes in connection with a proposed parking garage on city-owned land, affects his ability to do his job, Christie said at a news conference.

"I think that once you're indicted, you should resign," Christie said.

"I believe it places such a cloud over your ability to act objectively, freely and aggressively in elective office that it is in the best interest of the people that you serve for you to step down, and I believe the mayor should step down," he said.

Mack was charged with extortion, bribery, fraud and other charges. A representative for Mack could not be reached for comment. He has previously said he is innocent of the charges.

Mack, along with his brother Ralphiel Mack and associate Joseph Giorgianni, plotted to accept $119,000 from a man posing as a developer, prosecutors say. The purported developer was cooperating with authorities.

The deal involved selling city-owned land about two blocks from the federal courthouse to the would-be developer for a fraction of its value and getting money back in exchange, prosecutors said.

The three men were arrested in September after an FBI investigation of nearly two years.

Several local political leaders also have called for Mack to resign.

Christie called the news conference to introduce his two latest nominees for the state Supreme Court, after the state Senate earlier this year rejected two other nominees.

The new nominees are Superior Court Judge David Bauman, a Republican, and Robert Hanna, president of the state Board of Public Utilities and an independent.

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Cynthia Osterman)

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