Carmine DeSopo (born November 1, 1940) is an American Republican Party politician who served one term in the New Jersey General Assembly, from 1996 to 1998, where he represented the 7th Legislative District.
DeSopo earned bachelor's degree in 1964 and a master's degree in 1967, both with a major in education, at William Paterson College in Wayne, New Jersey. He earned a Ph.D. in administration from Nova University. He was the long-time Superintendent of the Burlington County Special Services School District. William Paterson University recognized DeSopo as one of its Distinguished Alumni Award honorees in 1975.
While DeSopo was superintendent, a group of emotionally and physically disabled students from the Burlington County Special Services School District marched in the inaugural parade for President Bill Clinton. The band also marched in the parade in Atlantic City, New Jersey for the 1993 Miss America pageant. Saying that he "didn't even know it was a paying job" when he was elected to the Assembly, DeSopo announced in 1996 that he would donate his entire $35,000 annual salary from the Assembly to the school district's marching band and to a camp the district runs for adult graduates. Having been responsible for the creation of the district, DeSopo announced in March 2001 that he was retiring at the end of the school year from his position as superintendent after 38 years in the field of education DeSopo wa the target of an investigation into his use of school district employees to perform work on his home in Westampton Township, New Jersey and a Long Beach Island vacation property.
In the 1995 general election, DeSopo and Republican running mate Diane Allen were elected, defeating Democratic incumbent Steven M. Petrillo and his running mate, newcomer Joseph P. Dugan. The $1.1 million spent in the 1995 Assembly race made it the first in New Jersey to cross the $1 million spending mark, as reported in the results of a study conducted by the Center for the Analysis of Public Issues of Princeton, New Jersey that analyzed campaign finance reports from candidates for all 80 Assembly seats.
DeSopo served in the General Assembly as Vice-Chair of the Community Services Committee and as a member of the Judiciary Committee.
- Assemblyman Carmine DeSopo, New Jersey Legislature, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 5, 1997. Accessed June 22, 2010.
- Past Distinguished Alumni Award Honorees, William Paterson University. Accessed June 22, 2010.
- Staff. "PAGEANT DECISION IS DISAPPOINTING, BUT BURLCO BAND PLAYS ON THE SPECIAL SERVICES SCHOOL'S PIONEERS WERE TO HAVE MARCHED IN A.C., BUT A LATE APPLICATION CANCELED THEIR APPEARANCE.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 15, 1993. Accessed June 22, 2010.
- Cannon, Kathleen. "PAGEANT RELENTS, WILL LET DISABLED BAND MARCH IN PARADE", The Press of Atlantic City, September 17, 1993. Accessed June 22, 2010.
- Johnston, Robert C. and Walsh, Mark. "State Journal: Surprise gift; No charge", Education Week, April 3, 1996. Accessed June 23, 2010.
- Staff. "PIONEERING BURLCO SUPERINTENDENT ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT", The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 15, 2001. Accessed June 22, 2010.
- Staff. "A new year brings changes in staff, Carmine DeSopo is retiring. Lenape gets ready for a new school. Others come and go.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 26, 2001. Accessed June 22, 2010.
- "Special services school superintendent retiring", Courier-Post, March 15, 2001. Accessed February 4, 2013. "A former assemblyman representing Burlington County, DeSopo was the subject of an FBI investigation in 1997 regarding an election campaign complaint that he misused students and staff to work on his Westampton home and a summer home on Long Beach Island."
- NJ Assembly 07 - History, OurCampaigns.com. Accessed June 22, 2010.
- Pristin, Terry. "New Jersey Daily Briefing;$1 Million Campaign Costs", The New York Times, March 13, 1996. Accessed June 22, 2010.
- Staff. "Assembly campaign spending rises, especially in South Jersya. The most expensive race cost $1.5 million.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 14, 1996. Accessed June 22, 2010. "The District 7 race in Burlington and Camden Counties, eventually won by the Republican ticket of Diane Allen and Carmine DeSopo, was the most expensive in the state, totaling $1.5 million, according to Upmeyer's analysis of campaign finance reports."