by James J. Devine
It is uncertain if Mafia members are patriotic, but there is strong evidence to suggest that they like Assemblyman Joe Cryan.
Robert Buccino, the chief of detectives at the Union County prosecutor’s office was quoted saying mobsters are “patriotic.”
Buccino’s boss, Albert Cernadas, Jr., is the first assistant Union County prosecutor. Cernadas’ father is a former president of International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1235 who pleaded guilty to funneling thousands of dollars in union funds to organized crime five years ago.
A 52-page federal indictment in December charged that Al Cernadas Sr., of Union, is an associate of the Genovese family who shook down union members under threats of violence, in what was described as a long-running organized crime racketeering operation.
Union County Board of Elections records show that Cernadas Sr. is a pretty consistent voter. Election Law Enforcement Commission documents show that the elder Cernadas, who is free on $1 million bail, was also a repeated contributor to the Assembly campaign funds of Union County Undersheriff Joe Cryan.
Francesco Guarraci, the alleged boss of the DeCavalcante crime family, voted in the last Democratic Primary Election in which Cryan was on the ballot.
Guarraci voted on June 2, 2009 — even though the alleged organized crime boss had previously only voted in primaries during even numbered years, when federal and municipal offices were on the ballot in Elizabeth. The only contested race in 2009 was Governor, where unpopular incumbent Jon Corzine — who tabbed Cryan as state party chairman — was challenged by three unknown candidates.
Cryan has something of his own crime family going. His father was indicted on corruption charges in 1979, while holding office as Essex County Sheriff, but he escaped conviction on a technicality. Cryan’s son was jailed for violating a probation sentence handed down after he brutalized a man with a baseball bat while two of his friends punched and kicked the victim.
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