TRENTON, NJ—Joseph Spicuzzo, one of the county's most notoriously corrupt politicians, left a state prison today as a free man, having served just over two years on a nine-year sentence.
Spicuzzo led the Middlesex County Democratic Organization for many years, and was elected to ten consecutive three-year terms as Sheriff.
A person who answered the phone at the Central Reception and Assignment Facility, Spicuzzo is out on parole. However, he was actually released under the Intensive Superivision Program, a type of probation.
The unexpected release comes just months after he had been denied early release by the state Parole Board, and spent his 70th birthday in prison.
According to the NJ Department of Corrections website, Spicuzzo was not eligible for parole until November 19, 2016.
He was jailed after pleading guilty to charges that he hired investigators who he had forced to pay bribes in exchange for their jobs.
Spicuzzo left office endorsing his successor, Millie Scott, who won the 2010 election. Until recently, the building that houses the Sheriff's Office was named for Spicuzzo.
Three months later, State Police gave Spicuzzo the opportunity to turn himself in to be arrested on the corruption charges. He resigned his position with the Democratic Party, and gave up his spot on powerful NJ Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) board.
Spicuzzo was also fined $55,000, forfeited his public pension, and agreed to never hold a public job again.
UPDATE (2/2): This article has been updated to reflect the details of Spicuzzo's release through the ISP, as reported by NJ.com's Brian Amaral.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.