Anthony R. Suarez
Suarez was born in Englewood, New Jersey and was raised in Ridgefield. He graduated from Ridgefield Memorial High School in 1984. He then attended Saint Peter's College in Jersey City, graduating with a B.A. degree in 1988. He received a J.D. degree from Fordham University School of Law in 1993.
Suarez was elected to the Ridgefield Borough Council in 1998, and was reelected to the Council in 2001. He was elected Mayor in 2003 and was reelected in 2007. He is the first elected Latino mayor in the history of Bergen County and the second Democratic mayor in the history of Ridgefield.
Operation Bid Rig
On July 23, 2009, Suarez was arrested as part of Operation Bid Rig, a joint operation of the FBI, IRS, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey into political corruption and money laundering. Suarez was charged with accepting a $10,000 cash bribe from an FBI informant through a middleman, Vincent Tabbachino, for assistance in arranging approvals to develop properties in Ridgefield.
Though the two other mayors implicated in the sting operation, Peter Cammarano of Hoboken and Dennis Elwell of Secaucus, resigned following their arrests, Suarez rebuffed calls for his resignation, including from Governor Jon Corzine. On August 3, 2009, Corzine launched an investigation into whether the State of New Jersey should seize control of Ridgefield's finances. Targeting Ridgefield, Corzine also signed an Executive Order freezing development approvals in municipalities with chief executives facing corruption charges who have not resigned from office.
Suarez was acquitted on all charges on October 27, 2010.
- "Attorney profiles". Dario Yacker Suarez & Albert. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
- "Mayor Anthony R. Suarez". Borough of Ridgefield. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
- "N.J. corruption probe: List of politicians, religious leaders charged". The Star-Ledger. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
- "Following corruption scandal, Corzine considers state control of Ridgefield's finances". The Star-Ledger.
- "As mayor digs in, Corzine halts development activity in Ridgefield, threatens takeover". The Bergen Record.
- "Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez found not guilty on federal corruption charges". The Star-Ledger. 2010-10-28. Archived from the original on 31 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-29.