Friday, May 17, 2013

Camden Mayor Ensnared In Abscam Dies At 84

He was the undisputed Boss of South Jersey.
And he wielded enormous power.
He was Mayor of Camden, New Jersey when being Mayor of Camden really meant something.
He was a powerful state senator.
He hobnobbed with major business leaders, power-brokers, governors, congressman, senators and at times, even presidential aspirants. In fact, he was responsible for the election of a whole slew of government officials from the governor on down.
And all of this came to him at a relatively young age. He loved the power and the notoriety. He delighted in it -- maybe too much.
Still, his future looked bright. He seemed almost omnipotent.
Then, one day it all came tumbling down.
It was called Abscam -- an FBI undercover operation that blew the lid off this rough-hewn political potentate and his kingdom. Yes, the feds caught up with him.
He maintained that he was framed in the FBI sting. But he was convicted and spent 32 months in jail for Abscam, which he described as a "setback of monumental proportions." That was an understatement. He never, ever again even approached his former glory. He was a broken man. And those who once bowed in his presence or shuddered at the mere mention of his name pretended they didn't know him or had never heard of him.
In his heyday, he was simply "Ange."
Now, Angelo Errichetti is dead at 84, reportedly "after a lengthly illness." He's been out of the public eye for so long many people may not even remember him. Most were not even around when he was a force to be reckoned with. He became little more that a footnote.
But that may soon end because Errichetti's story will come to life again in a star-studded movie due in December.
"American Hustle," will feature Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. Jeremy Renner will play Errichetti.
IMDB describes the movie as "the 1970s-set true story of a con artist and his partner in crime, who were forced to work with a federal agent to turn the tables on other cons, mobsters, and politicians -- namely, the volatile mayor of impoverished Camden, New Jersey."
Ange is gone.
But his legacy (such as it is) will live on.

1 comment:

Walter Kirk said...

Angelo Errichetti was targeted for by those running Abscam after their earlier project failed.

Nothing that he agreed to do was against the interests of the people of Camden. His career was ruined and so was everything that he had done to get Camden moving in the right direction.

The forgotten victims of this shameful exercise of government power are the people of Camden who lost their leader and their chance to revitalize their city.