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Covering Hamilton and Robbinsville townships in-depth for The Trentonian. I can be reached at (609) 989-7800 ext. 207 or (609) 468-6962. Email me at or follow me @awisefool.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Benci Claus: Former mayor donates campaign cash to charities

Former Hamilton Mayor John Bencivengo has started clearing his campaign house.

The convicted felon has donated more than $50,000 from his campaign accounts to charities in and around the township.

A letter he sent along with the donation checks said “I have decided to donate funds to organizations and institutions that as mayor I learned were significant to a better quality of life for all people, every race every color and every creed.”

Last month a jury convicted Bencivengo last month of taking $12,400 in bribes from the government’s cooperating witness, Marliese Ljuba in exchange for his influence with several members of the school board on her behalf as the district’s health insurance broker.

Vinnie Cappodano, former Democratic councilman, said the mayor had decided to try and do the best he could with the situation he found himself in.

“He wanted me to let the people of Hamilton Township know how much he loved being their mayor and how much he loved the town and loved the people and how much he wished them well in the new year,” he said. “I hope people remember all the good he’s done for the town.”

Cappodano said Bencivengo donated to the charities as follows:

Hamilton Police Benevolent Association, $10,000
Trenton Catholic Academy, $5,000
Our Lady of Angels Parish, $5,000
Hamilton YMCA, $5,000
Sunshine Foundation, $5,000
Hamilton Patriotic Committee, $5,000
Wounded Warrior Project, $5,000
Mobile Meals of Hamilton $5,000
The Arc of Mercer, $2,000
Mercer Street Friends, $2,000
Veterans of Foreign Wars post 3525, $2,000
Hamilton Education Foundation, $2,000
Knights of Columbus, $1,800

A Hamilton YMCA staffer said the organization did not receive any donations yet from the campaign, the Friends of John Bencivengo. An October Election Law Enforcement Commission filing showed Bencivengo had about $60,000 in his campaign account.


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