George Norcross indictment in New Jersey: Five things to know 


New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin (D) unsealed a 13-count indictment against South Jersey political heavyweight George Norcross III for using his power and influence to craft legislation that would benefit Norcross’s development project in Camden.

According to Platkin, Norcross’s enterprise received $29 million in tax credits from the state. 

“This alleged conduct of the Norcross enterprise has caused great harm to individuals, businesses, nonprofits, the people of the state of New Jersey, and especially to the city of Camden,” Platkin said. 

Norcross sat in the front row of a press conference where Platkin unveiled the indictment. Later, he held his press conference outside, calling Platkin “a coward.” 

“I want Matt Platkin to come down here and try this case himself, because he’s a coward, because he has forced people in this building to implement his will,” he said. 

The arraignment is set for July 9 in a Mercer County courthouse. 

Who is George Norcross III?

Norcross is a South Jersey Democrat who has never held elected office. He chaired the Camden Democratic Party from 1989 to 1995 and served on the Democratic National Committee until 2021, when he moved from New Jersey to Florida. 

George Norcross built up the South Jersey Democratic machine, which has exerted its influence on elected officials statewide and state policy for decades. 

Norcross was a close friend of former State Senate President Steven Sweeney, who lost his seat to a little-known Trump-supporting truck driver in 2021. Norcross worked closely with former Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) on several important legislative issues, including pension reform. 

Norcross and Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) bitterly disagreed over political issues during Murphy’s first term. Camden Democrats, including Norcross, once told him that Murphy was not welcome in their city. At one point, Norcross threatened to field a primary candidate against Murphy in 2019.

Murphy and Norcross came to a detente during Murphy’s second term, which started in 2022, and Norcross backed Murphy’s wife, Tammy Murphy, in her bid to win the Democratic nomination for Senate against Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.). 

In 2016, federal investigators wiretapped Norcross’s phone regarding the Camden waterfront tax credits, but no charges were filed. Murphy opened his own investigation into the law Norcross and his co-conspirators used to receive tax credits.  

In the mid-2000s, the state investigated Norcross for pressuring an official to punish political adversaries by withholding jobs and contracts. The investigation was taken over by then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, who accused the state of mishandling the investigation. 

Who are Norcross’s co-conspirators? 

The state also charged Philip Norcross, George Norcross’s little brother. Philip Norcross is the managing partner and CEO of Parker McCay and a registered agent for the Norcross enterprise. 

In a statement to The Hill, Philip Norcross’s attorney wrote that he is “entirely innocent of these outrageous, politically motivated charges.” 

George Norcross’s personal attorney, William Tambussi, was also indicted. He has also served as the counsel to the Camden County Democratic Committee. 

The state also indicted former Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd, who is currently the CEO of Camden Community Partnership. She previously served on the Camden City Council and the New Jersey Senate and as Camden’s mayor from 2010 to 2018. 

An attorney for Redd told ABC that she has “done nothing wrong…She has cooperated fully with the grand jury investigation for over a year and is unaware of evidence of wrongdoing by her or others.”

The state also indicted Sidney Brown, the CEO of a trucking and logistics company, and John O’Donnell owns several Camden buildings. 

What is the state accusing them of? 

According to the indictment, the co-conspirators worked to influence state lawmakers to rewrite a New Jersey state economic growth tax credit law in 2013. 

Norcross stated that the law “is for our friends,” and the state alleges that “he wanted to be able to use the legislation to construct an office building for free.” 

One example of an edit made by co-conspirators was allowing for the cost of repairs of a pier, wharf, or bulkhead to be included in the calculation for a tax credit based on the edits provided by co-conspirators. The “Norcross Enterprise” then built a pier in Camden. 

“We re-wrote a tax credit law in New Jersey, that says in essence, if you come to Camden, we’re

going to give you one hundred percent tax credit for all capital and related costs. As long as you

bring some jobs in,” Philip Norcross said, according to the indictment. 

After working to change state law, George and Philip Norcross, as well as Tambussi, worked to force out another developer from Camden by working with the city employees. They succeeded and the developer sold his land on the Camden waterfront.

All told, the state alleges that the Norcross Enterprise received $29 million in state tax credits. 

What are other New Jersey politicians saying? 

Norcross’s brother, Rep. Donald Norcross, wrote in a statement to The Hill that “he loves his brother.” 

“This is a great day for democracy,” South Jersey Progressive Democrats President Kate Delany told The Hill. 

Sue Altman, a Democrat who is running against Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R-N.J.) in the state’s seventh congressional district, posted on X that “George Norcross and his South Jersey cronies are finding out that breaking the law for personal gain has consequences.” 

“It is a new day for New Jersey politics,” she added. 

Rep. Andy Kim’s (D-N.J.) campaign, the Democratic nominee for Senate, declined to comment on the indictment. 

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