Democratic Power Broker George Norcross Indicted on Racketeering Charges


George E. Norcross III, a significant figure in New Jersey Democratic politics, has been indicted on racketeering charges, shaking the state's political landscape. The indictment, unveiled by the New Jersey Attorney General's Office, accuses Norcross of using his extensive political influence to orchestrate a series of fraudulent real estate transactions and manipulate state tax incentives for personal gain.

Norcross, 68, has been a dominant force in South Jersey politics for decades, controlling a powerful political machine and holding substantial sway over legislative decisions. He has been credited with driving major economic development projects in Camden, leveraging state tax breaks to attract investments. However, these dealings have long been criticized for benefiting a small circle of insiders rather than the broader community​​.

The charges stem from an investigation that began over a year ago, focusing on Norcross's involvement in several high-profile real estate projects along Camden's Delaware River waterfront. Investigators are scrutinizing whether Norcross and his associates, including his brother Philip, used their political connections to secure favorable deals and exclude competition​.

Among the transactions under investigation are the development rights for the L3 office complex, a key part of Camden's revitalization efforts. Developers and activists have accused Norcross of coercing rivals into relinquishing their stakes, ensuring that only his allies benefited from the lucrative tax incentives​.

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, who has previously clashed with Norcross, emphasized that the indictment reflects a commitment to holding powerful individuals accountable. "No one is above the law, and this indictment sends a clear message that we will pursue justice regardless of one's political influence," Platkin said in a statement​.

Norcross has denied all wrongdoing, characterizing the investigation as a politically motivated attack. His legal team argues that the transactions were above board and that the tax incentives have significantly contributed to Camden's economic resurgence. Despite these claims, the indictment includes charges of conspiracy, fraud, and misuse of state resources, which carry significant penalties​​.

The political ramifications of this indictment are considerable. Norcross's influence has been waning in recent years, particularly following the upset defeat of his ally, former state Senate President Steve Sweeney, in 2021. This latest development further undermines his position, potentially reshaping the power dynamics within New Jersey's Democratic Party.

The indictment of Norcross, often referred to as the "kingmaker" of New Jersey politics, marks a significant chapter in the state's ongoing battle against political corruption. It also raises questions about the future of Camden's redevelopment projects and the broader implications for political accountability in the state​.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here