Gerald Luongo

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Gerald J. Luongo (born June 2, 1938) is an American Republican Party politician, who served one term in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1998 to 2000, where he represented the 4th Legislative District.

Biography[edit]

Luongo earned in associate's degree in music from the Juilliard School, both bachelor's and master's degrees in education and music from Trenton State College and was awarded a Ph.D. from Southwestern University with majors in administration and communications.[1]

Luongo served on the Washington Township Public School District board of education from 1972 to 1981, as the Mayor of Washington Township, New Jersey starting in 1989 and started that same year serving on the Washington Township Planning Board.[1] He was elected to the General Assembly in 1997, winning a seat with Republican running mate George Geist.[2] In the Assembly, he served on the Education Committee and the Local Government and Housing Committee.[1]

Despite efforts by pro-gun-rights organizations to support Geist and Luongo in the 1999 race, Luongo faced negative advertisements that focused on a land deal that was said to have aided investors close to him.[3] Luongo took offense at Democratic Party ads that depicted Luongo as a "Godfather", criticizing the ads as a slur against Italian Americans.[4]

In the 1999 general elections, Geist took one seat, but Luongo was edged out for the second seat by Democrat Robert J. Smith II, who won the second seat and by Democrat David F. Carlamere who came in third place.[2][5]

Luongo proposed legislation in 1999 to create an official New Jersey Nature Card that could be used for debit and credit transactions by residents and would earn money for the state based on the volume of purchases to fund endangered species protection and other environmental efforts, similar to a program that had already been initiated in Washington Township that had raised $30,000 for recreation in the township.[6]

In April 2002, Luongo was sentenced to serve 13 months in jail for his role in misusing campaign and community program funds for personal use, which included rent and mortgage payments, car payments, credit card bills, vacations and restaurant celebrations.. He was ordered by U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson to make restitution of nearly $15,000, along with fines in excess of $20,000, which in total equal the amount that Luongo misappropriated as stipulated in his plea agreement.[7] During his 11 months at Federal Prison Camp, Eglin, Luongo wrote the book Surviving Federal Prison Camp: An Informative and Helpful Guide for Prospective Inmates, which was published in February 2004.[8]

References[edit]