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Clark, NJ Officials Paid Cop $400k to Turnover Secret Recordings of Mayor and Police Chief Using racial Slurs

According to an investigation by NJ Advance Media, the mayor of Clark, NJ and its police chief were caught on an audio recording using racial slurs against Black people and joking about lynching. 

Two years ago police Lieutenant Antonia Manata came forward and told officials that he had secretly recorded the mayor, Sal Bonaccorso, the police chief, Pedro Matos, and a supervisor in internal affairs, Sgt. Joseph Teston, referring to Black people as “shines,” “spooks” and the N-word.

Clark officials agreed to pay Manata $400,000 for him to keep quiet about the recordings and avoid a public lawsuit, according to the investigation. The investigation found that after the agreement, Manata turned the recording over to the township and in exchange was allowed to remain on the payroll without working until he retired with his full pension at the rank of captain last month. 

The recording remained unreleased until July 2020, just six months after the agreement, when the Union County Prosecutor’s Office took over Clark’s Police Department due to “misconduct allegations.”

When the recordings were discovered, the police and internal affairs supervisor were both immediately placed on paid administrative leave, according to township records, as well as police captain Vincent Concina, whom Mantana accused of retaliation.

Almost two years later, the three suspended officers still continue to receive six-figure salaries at a combined cost of $763,000 to taxpayers through March 15, according to NJ.com.

Mayor Bonaccorso denied the accusations that he and others used racist language, according to NJ.com. As of today he still remains the mayor of Clark, NJ and is now the longest-serving mayor in the town’s history. 

Mantana’s attorney also claims that Union County prosecutors are retaliating against him by seeking to block him from receiving his pension.

The secret recording of the Clark officials’ conversation can be found heard below:

The full details of the lawsuit can be read on NJ.com.

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