Nicholas Sacco
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Nicholas Sacco
Nicholas J. Sacco
Sacco at a February 2015 job fair at
North Bergen Public Library
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 32nd Legislative District district

January 11, 1994
Thomas F. Cowan
Mayor of North Bergen

January 1, 1991
Leo Gattoni
Personal details
Born (1946-11-17) November 17, 1946 (age 72)
Jersey City, New Jersey
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceNorth Bergen
Alma materB.A. Rutgers University (History)
M.A. Seton Hall University (Administration and Supervision)
OccupationAssistant Superintendent of Schools; mayor, North Bergen, New Jersey; State Senator
WebsiteLegislative web page

Nicholas J. Sacco (born November 17, 1946) is an American Democratic Party politician, who has been serving in the New Jersey State Senate since 1994, where he represents the 32nd Legislative District. Sacco serves in the Senate as the chairman of the Transportation Committee, and is also a member of the Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee.[1] He concurrently serves as mayor of North Bergen as he is allowed to hold two offices under a grandfather clause in a bill that prohibited dual office holding.

Personal life

Sacco was born in Jersey City on November 17, 1946. He grew up in West New York graduating from Memorial High School.[2] Sacco received a B.A. in 1968 in History from Rutgers University and an M.A. in Administration and Supervision from Seton Hall University in 1973.[1][3] He is married to but does not reside with, the former Kathleen Ambrose since 1972 and together have one son, Nicholas J. Sacco, Jr., a vice-principal at North Bergen High School.[4]

Political career

Sacco was first elected to the North Bergen Board of Commissioners in 1985 as a part of recall elections headed up by Leo Gattoni to clean out corrupt officials in the Township. In 1991, Gattoni retired from the Mayor's office and decided to endorse Sacco as mayor (in North Bergen, the mayor is chosen among members of the Board of Commissioners).[5] Sacco has been reelected every four years, most recently in May 2015.[6] Two years after becoming mayor, Sacco defeated incumbent State Senator Thomas F. Cowan in the Democratic primary election for the 32nd district.[7] He has also been overwhelmingly re-elected to this office since his first election as well.

In addition to serving as a State Senator and as mayor of North Bergen, Sacco previously served as the Director of Primary Education for the North Bergen School District, until his retirement from the position in 2017.[1] Sacco has been Principal of Horace Mann and Lincoln School in North Bergen, and former president and vice president of the North Bergen Council of Administrators and Supervisors which is affiliated with the New Jersey Education Association. He simultaneously holds a seat in the New Jersey Senate and as Mayor. This dual position, often called double dipping, is allowed under a grandfather clause in the state law enacted by the New Jersey Legislature and signed into law by Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine in September 2007 that prevents dual-office-holding but allows those who had held both positions as of February 1, 2008, to retain both posts.[8]

Sacco is a sponsor of the state's Urban Enterprise Zone legislation, which has helped foster private business investment in urban centers and generates millions of dollars in revenue for North Bergen and other cities.[9] Sacco has also sponsored legislation expanding the use of DNA testing in criminal cases, by having DNA collected from individuals convicted of disorderly conduct offenses that could be compared against databases to help close unsolved crime cases.[10] Sacco has a pro-life voting record in the Senate as reported by the Democrats for Life of America.[11]

In 2012 the Hudson Reporter named him #1 in its list of Hudson County's 50 most influential people.[12] In 2013 and 2014, he was ranked #3 (the first of which tied him with Senate colleague and Union City mayor Brian P. Stack),[13][14] and #4 in 2015.[15]

District 32

Each of the forty districts in the New Jersey Legislature has one representative in the New Jersey Senate and two members in the New Jersey General Assembly. The other representatives from the 32nd district for the 2014-2015 Legislative Session are:[16]

Election history

New Jersey State Senate elections, 2013[17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Nicholas J. Sacco (incumbent) 20,098 70.2
Republican Paul Castelli 8,542 29.8
Democratic hold
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2011[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Nicholas J. Sacco (incumbent) 16,413 83.2
Republican Edward T. O'Neill 3,312 16.8
Democratic hold
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2007[19]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Nicholas Sacco 16,780 82.8
Republican John Pluchino 3,474 17.2
Democratic hold


Allegations of sexual harassment

In 2009 Sacco was sued by April Tricoli when she claimed that he made lewd comments to her and engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment. The case was settled for $90,000.00.[20]

In 2011 another woman, Lydia Coleman, accused Sacco of sexually harassing her by leaving violent and sexually vulgar voice mails on her answering machine, in which he characterized her as "a retard" and "a scumbag", and threatened her job with the North Bergen Board of Education if she did not comply with his advances. Coleman's ethics complaint against Sacco was dismissed because of the statute of limitations involving ethics complaints.[21][22][23][24][25][26]

Corruption and nepotism

Sacco has been accused of engaging in widespread corruption and nepotism by having many of his family members on the payroll. Sacco has over 10 relatives and over 11 close friends on the Board of Education payroll, who earn over $1.5 million per year. As of February 2019, the matter is currently under investigation by the New Jersey Attorney General and the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations.[27][28]


Sacco has been critiqued for being one of the highest paid politicians in the State of New Jersey. Sacco regularly held made positions in the Board of Education paying over $200,000.00 per year. In addition to his functions as a Mayor and State Senator, Sacco earned over $300,000.00.[29][30]

Housing Authority corruption

In 2018 NBC News reported that Sacco was using the North Bergen Housing Authority, which houses seniors and financially struggling people, for political purposes. NBC stated that Sacco's driver, Geoffery Santini, had a no-show job and was often seen driving Sacco when he was supposed to be working. Santini was fired after the NBC probe, and filed his own suit alleging widespread corruption in the Housing Authority.[31]

Teachers forced to campaign

Sacco has been accused of protecting his political machine by illegally pressuring school teachers to work for and donate money to his political campaigns, lest their lose jobs, promotions or salary increases. As of December 2018, the matter is under investigation.[32][33][34]

Power plant

In 2018, Sacco approved a fracking power plant in North Bergen, which would deliver energy to New York City and New York State, and not New Jersey. Opponents stated it would harm air quality and increase New Jersey's contribution to global warming.[35] None of the Meadowlands towns in Hudson County - Kearny, Jersey City, Secaucus - took a public stance on the issue. Though the project, which will bring in millions in revenue to North Bergen, is supported by Sacco, it is opposed by mayors and citizens of other towns, as well as environmental groups like the Sierra Club, who fear it will increase cancer rates in and around North Bergen. Governor Phil Murphy, who was supported by Sacco, has not commented on about the power plant.[36][37][38][39][40]

School referendum

In 2018, Sacco and the school board proposed building a new high school on Tonnelle Avenue, where there have been numerous fatal traffic accidents.[41][42][43][44][45]

The referendum was passed in violation of the Open Public Meetings Act and was done clandestinely. The town wanted to raise $60 million with the referendum to retrofit an old building, rather than build a new school. The project was widely criticized in the local media and the Jersey Journal wrote an editorial against the project.[46] Mario M. Blanch, Esq. filed an application to stop the project, which was denied by the Superior Court, and is currently under appeal.[47]


  1. ^ a b c Senator Sacco's legislative web page, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed April 11, 2008.
  2. ^ Senator Nicholas J. Sacco, New Jersey Senate Democrats. Accessed August 29, 2019. "The senator was born in Jersey City Nov. 17, 1946. He attended public schools in Hudson County and graduated from Memorial High School in West New York."
  3. ^ Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey - Two Hundred and Eleventh Legislature (First Session) (PDF). Skinder-Strauss Associates. 2004. p. 239. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ North Bergen High School 2013-2014 Student Handbook (PDF). p. 4. Retrieved 2015.
  5. ^ Hague, Jim (November 16, 2001). "Former Mayor Gattoni dies Long-time politician, 87, served township for 50 years". Hudson Reporter. Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ Herzog, Laura. (May 12, 2015). "After 24 years in office, North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco is victorious again". NJ Advance Media for Retrieved 2015.
  7. ^ "Official List Primary Election Returns for the Office of Senate and Assembly" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. August 3, 1993. Retrieved 2015.
  8. ^ via Associated Press. "N.J. Lawmakers keep double dipping". WPVI-TV, March 4, 2008. Accessed June 4, 2009.
  9. ^ Hague, Jim (March 22, 2005). "North Bergen's UEZ has a new home Office set up on Broadway, in heart of zone". Hudson Reporter. Accessed June 25, 2012. "Ever since North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco first introduced legislation 10 years ago, in his role as a state senator, that began the process to have Urban Enterprise Zones (UEZ) in many of the state's major cities and towns as a way to increase business sales while helping to beautify the community, the North Bergen UEZ has been operating out of Town Hall, but was really without an identity."
  10. ^ Hack, Charles. "State Sen. Nicholas Sacco introduces bill to collect DNA samples from all convicted of disorderly persons offenses", The Jersey Journal, March 21, 2012. Accessed June 25, 2012. "Convicted shoplifters and others guilty of disorderly persons offenses would be forced to submit a DNA sample to authorities under new legislation proposed by Sen. Nicholas J. Sacco, D-North Bergen. The goal of the bill, which was introduced in Trenton yesterday, is to reduce the number of unsolved crimes, according to Sacco, who is also North Bergen's mayor."
  11. ^ "PRO-LIFE DEMOCRAT OF THE WEEK" (Press release). Democrats for Life of America. 2012. Archived from the original on July 5, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  12. ^ Adriana Rambay Fernández, Stephen LaMarca, Gennarose Pope, Ray Smith, Al Sullivan and E. Assata Wright. "They've Got the Power". The Union City Reporter. January 8, 2012. Pages 1, 4-7 and 10-11.
  13. ^ Cruz, Vanessa; DeChiaro, Dean; Rambay Fernandez, Adriana; Palasciano, Amanda; Sullivan, Al; Wright, E. Assata (January 13, 2013). "Power Surge". The Union City Reporter. pp. 1, 5-7, 10.
  14. ^ DeChiaro, Dean; Sullivan, Al (February 2, 2014). "The 'Power List'". The Union City Reporter. p. 6.
  15. ^ Sullivan, Al; Davis, Carlo; Schwartz, Art; Passantino, Joseph (January 18, 2015). The Union City Reporter, pp 1, 5, 9, 12
  16. ^ "Legislative Roster 2014-2015 Session". New Jersey Legislature. Retrieved 2015.
  17. ^ "Official List Candidates for State Senate For GENERAL ELECTION 11/05/2015 Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. December 4, 2013. Retrieved 2015.
  18. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2011 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 14, 2011. Accessed May 2, 2012.
  19. ^ Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2007 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 3, 2007. Accessed June 25, 2012.
  20. ^ "Ex-North Bergen employee, who filed sexual harassment lawsuit, among 5 seeking to unseat Mayor Sacco". Retrieved .
  21. ^ Hudson County Hades North Bergen New Jersey (2015-05-26), News12 Kane In Your Corner Senator Nicholas Sacco Sexual Harassment, retrieved
  22. ^ "Secaucus woman accuses state Sen. Nicholas Sacco of sexual harassment". Retrieved .
  23. ^ "Secaucus woman accuses state Sen. Nicholas Sacco of sexual harassment". Retrieved .
  24. ^ The Good Government Team (2015-04-16), Sacco Sexual Harassment, retrieved
  25. ^ "Ex-North Bergen township recreation employee files state ethics complaint against Sacco". Observer. 2011-12-19. Retrieved .
  26. ^ nbcorruption (2011-12-29), Nick Sacco's Threatening Voice Mails for Lydia Coleman, retrieved
  27. ^ Dienst, Jonathan; Paredes, David; Alexiades, Isabel; Rosenzweig, Sophie; Stein, Mara. "North Bergen Mayor's Family Deepens Hold on Town Admin". NBC New York. Retrieved .
  28. ^ Friedman, Matt. "Ten Sacco relatives get public paychecks". Politico. Retrieved .
  29. ^ August 30, Posted; August 30, 2017 at 11:57 AM | Updated; PM, 2017 at 03:41. "Here's how much Hudson County's 12 mayors make each year". Retrieved .
  30. ^ "These NJ mayors make 6-figure salaries from taxpayers. Is yours one of them?". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved .
  31. ^ Dienst, Jonathan; Paredes, David. "Ex-Housing Director in NJ Sues After Being Fired". NBC New York. Retrieved .
  32. ^ "NBC4 I-Team Report Focuses On North Bergen Teachers' Contributions". Insider NJ. 2018-12-05. Retrieved .
  33. ^ "Ex-North Bergen teacher: I was forced to campaign for Sacco (VIDEO)". Retrieved .
  34. ^ View, Hudson County (2017-02-27). "LETTER: North Bergen teachers should blame Sacco for contract dispute". Hudson County View. Retrieved .
  35. ^ "Meadowlands mayors to proposed power plant: We don't want you". North Jersey. Retrieved .
  36. ^ Fallon, Scott; Burrow, Megan. "Phil Murphy remains quiet as opposition grows toward Meadowlands power plant". North Jersey. Retrieved 2019.
  37. ^ Mota, Caitlin Mota (July 9, 2018). "North Bergen power plant proposal clears first hurdle". Retrieved 2019.
  38. ^ Fallon, Scott (April 10, 2018). "New power plant for Meadowlands? Company wants to make electricity in NJ for NYC". North Jersey. Retrieved 2019.
  39. ^ "Stop the Meadowlands Power Plant". Sierra Club. July 31, 2018. Retrieved 2019.
  40. ^ "Home". Stop the Meadowlands Power Plant. Retrieved 2019.
  41. ^ Johnson, Eric. "NJ's Most Dangerous Intersections". New Jersey 101.5. Retrieved .
  42. ^ "Prosecutor: Mom Killed In North Bergen Hit-And-Run". 2019-02-21. Retrieved .
  43. ^ "North Bergen hit and run throws man 100 feet in the air, leaving him in critical condition". Retrieved .
  44. ^ "Second teen dies in Jersey City hit-and-run; driver ID'd". WPIX 11 New York. 2017-10-19. Retrieved .
  45. ^ "ABC7NY". Retrieved .
  46. ^ "Reject North Bergen bonding referendum | Jersey Journal editorial". Retrieved .
  47. ^ Heinis, John (2018-12-07). "Judge dismisses Wainstein's suit to postpone North Bergen school referendum". Hudson County View. Retrieved .

External links

New Jersey Senate
Preceded by
Thomas F. Cowan
Member of the New Jersey Senate for the 32nd District
January 11, 1994 - present
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Leo Gattoni
Mayor of North Bergen, New Jersey
January 1, 1991 - present
Succeeded by

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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