New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin has filed criminal charges against the mayor of Clark, Salvator Bonaccorso, after an investigation into alleged racial slurs made by him. The investigation revealed that Bonaccorso, 63, used municipal resources to run his landscaping and illegal tank removal business out of his township office. He is also charged with witness tampering and falsifying records, including using an engineer’s name, license number, and forged signature on permit applications submitted to municipalities for tank removals.
When CBS New York reached out to Clark Township for a comment, a spokesperson for Bonaccorso had no response. Efforts to obtain a comment at his residence were unsuccessful. A resident stated that if a mayor or someone else is doing illegal things, they should resign. Another resident commented that Clark is a good place and that Bonaccorso made it better than the previous mayor. However, these comments were made before the charges were announced.
The criminal charges stem from another investigation into the police department and its chief in addition to claims of racist comments made by the mayor. This led to a 43-page report alleging racially-motivated arrests as well as a failure to investigate allegations of misconduct. The report stated that Black individuals were arrested at a disproportionate rate. Records obtained by the attorney general’s office were insufficient to charge police officials, and now the police department is under county supervision.
Christine Sloan is an Emmy Award-winning reporter who covers New Jersey for CBS 2 New York. She re-joined the station in January 2023 after previously working at CBS 2 New York from 2004 to 2016.