Former state Sen. Joseph Maressa has died

Former state Sen. Joe Maressa, who was instrumental in bringing a medical school to South Jersey, died Tuesday at the age of 89.

First elected to the Senate in 1972, Maressa represented the 4th Legislative District for three terms.

As a senator, Maressa served as both majority whip and Judiciary Committee chairman.  In the mid-1970s Maressa was the lawmaker behind the creation of the University of Medicine and Dentistry-School of Osteopathic Medicine, South Jersey’s only medical school.

Caught up in the Abscam investigation, Maressa took $10,000 from a purported Arab Sheikh, though Maressa said at the time it was a legal fee.  No charges were ever filed against him.

Maressa is survived by sons Anthony, Joseph Jr., and Julian, daughter, Jo Lynne; five grandchildren, and his companion, Muriel Mansmann.

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