Sammy Rivera’s last lie

13 05 2008

KNOWING what we know about the man, it would be foolish to try to guess when Sammy Rivera will end his long and largely successful career of deceit. But now that he has left the Passaic mayor’s office under much duress, he has probably told his last lie as a public official. Give him credit for making it a big one.

The mayor’s valedictory whopper had to do with his innocence. Last week, he pleaded guilty to taking a $5,000 bribe in exchange for a city insurance contract. That admission capped eight months of vehement insistence, in and out of court, that he had done nothing of the kind. It was like Rivera’s farewell fabrication tour — three seasons of shameless, outright fraud.

“Definitely, I’m innocent,” Rivera told a Herald News reporter interviewing him at his home earlier this year. “Definitely,” he told a Record reporter calling to ask if he still maintained his innocence, despite signs of plea negotiations.

In September, shortly after the FBI revealed that Rivera and 10 other public officials had been arrested in a bribery sting, the former wrestler vowed, “I’m not going down. I’m going to beat this.” He said he had never heard of the other figures in the case and that the recorded evidence must have been doctored.

After pleading not guilty in January, Rivera continued to refuse calls for his resignation, saying, “The only people who can put me out of office are the courts, and they won’t do that. I am innocent until they find otherwise.”

All the while, Rivera was subjecting the people of Passaic to that many more months of tainted, dysfunctional government. He let his center for day laborers begin to fall apart, engaged in quixotic opposition to bus shelters, forgot to replace the chairman of the library board and gestured obscenely at a resident who criticized him during a City Council meeting.

He even helped paralyze the city government by engaging in a standoff over who would fill the council seat vacated by Marcellus Jackson, who had been found guilty in the same FBI sting.

Rivera’s history of dishonesty dates at least to 1980, when, as a policeman in Puerto Rico, he stabbed himself to help his partner cover up an unjustified fatal shooting.

Decades later, he was so confident in his abilities as a storyteller that he expected us to believe in his innocence even though U.S. Attorney Chris Christie has a perfect record of more than 120 corruption indictments without an acquittal — and even as Rivera’s partners in crime, those arrested in the same setup, began to acknowledge their guilt, one by one. And so Rivera passed up one last chance to do what was honorable, admit his crime and mercifully relieve the people of his




7 responses

17 05 2008
sammy rivera last lie reply

Above article forgot about the countless Domestic Violence Calls
Remember biting his daughters hand, beating up an exboyfriend, breaking down a girlfriends door, and so on.

I can’t believe no one forced him to resign after the indictment!!!

19 05 2008
a tax payer

Glad someone remembered more of the crimes this criminal committed. How about when he assaulted a resident of Highland Ave?

27 05 2008

Oh I got one better and this one will not to many people know. Do you know that for a while police positions in the City of Passaic were for sale at $5000 to $10000 per position so start thinking how many officers actually got there jobs this way. Mmmm, Sammy Rivera is gone but his mark is in there and at least two of his offsprings are in there to carry the torch per say.

Also lets face he who controls the police department will always have power and unless one day the hiring practices of this city are seriously looked at by the FBI or the State Police in an investigation nothing will really ever be corrected.

Example there are former internal affairs detectives that claim that these positions were given away for donations of $10,000. Then you wonder why only a federal sting can bring down someone like Sammy Rivera because all key positions that could catch him in corruption were sold to the highest bidder that were his friends.

Got to love Passaic with it’s politic and corruption. Sad thing is this type of happenings are not over they will just be less obvious in the future, that is all since it always happens.


21 07 2008

how many wives has he had and how many children?

what was his son doing when the fire started in the attic?

29 07 2008

OH MY GOODNESS people come on now my sister samantha was just making the whole biting thing up she just wanted my father to give her more money then what she already got.And whoever was being nosey about my brotehrs sisters and i need to mind their buisness because thats my fathers life okay he can do what ever he pleases what are you mad because u aint get married or have any kids??thank you stop being nosey…my father is just going through a hard time you people need to see that he is just getting convicted fr something i know he did not do and as far as the highland assault goes i do not know nothing about that but come on now a mayor (my father)is a regular person like everyone else dont you think no one in this world is perfect look at bush come on now anycomments just leave ’em here and ill check every week

2 10 2008
a tax payer

What you you have to say now NINI? I guess he went to prison for being innocent. Does your ignorant cop sister spell as poorly as you? How many honest people were passed over so the high school dropout could get a job? So your father and your whole low life family and his bastard children can burn in hell. What a man soweth he also reapeth!

20 03 2009
a distant relative

he is my great uncle and i can tell u stories. He went on the run in the 80’s after the fatal shooting/coverup and would call and threaten my greatgrandmother (his mother) and . she was so afraid of him…he is sooooooooooooooooooooo corrupt. His private life is our business when our tax money paid his salary!!!! dont get me started on can write books on him!!! i think he has 3 wives and about 5 children. also, he stated he had to do it because his family is on the island is poor. guess what his brothers and sisters paid his bail money back then!!!!

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