Bencivengo found guilty on all counts

TRENTON – Hamilton Mayor John Bencivengo was found guilty on all counts.

A jury returned the verdict moments ago inside the federal courthouse in Trenton.

Bencivengo showed little emotion or reaction as the jury delivered the guilty verdict on all five counts.

The jury deliberated for about four hours in the bribery case against the still-sitting mayor. Bencivengo was charged with accepting $12,400 in bribes from a former friend turned FBI informant in exchange for using his official influence to help the former friend retain a lucrative insurance contract with the township school board.

Prosecutors asked the judge to amend Bencivengo’s bond from $100,000 unsecured bond to a secured bond, meaning the mayor would have to secure a portion of the bond. The judge said she planned to hold a hearing either tomorrow or next week to determine how much the mayor’s property is worth before setting a value of the secured bond.

Asked if he planned to step down from his post, Bencivengo declined comment.  Asked to comment on the verdict, Bencivengo’s attorney Jerome Ballarotto said only “I think the jury said it all.”

Judge Anne Thompson set sentencing for Feb. 27, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.

Thompson advised Bencivengo to stay in touch with his lawyer.

"This meeting is entirely off the record. Until somebody leaks it."
—Michael Kempner, addressing a roomful of Democratic powerbrokers organizng for Hillary Clinton