A Connecticut man was sentenced today for his role in the murder of a Jersey City political operative.
According to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger, George Bratsenis, 74, of Monroe, Connecticut, was given 16 years in prison for conspiring to murder Michael Galdieri in 2014.
Bratsenis’ conspirators, Sean Caddle, 45, of Hamburg, New Jersey and Bomani Africa, 62, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the murder scheme. Africa was sentenced to 20 years in prison on February 23.
The scheme, which came to light in January of last year, rocked the world of New Jersey politics and been the subject of numerous articles in the local and national press.
According to prosecutors, in April of 2014, Caddle — a political consultant — asked Bratsenis, a then 64 year-old career criminal from Monroe, Connecticut, to kill one of his associates in exchange for thousands of dollars. Bratsenis, in turn, recruited Africa to join the plot.
Caddle then told Bratsenis that Galdieri — a longtime associate who had worked on various political campaigns with Caddle — was the target.
On May 22 that year, Bratsensis and Africa went to Galdieri’s home on Mallory Avenue in Jersey City and stabbed him to death. Afterwards, they set his apartment on fire.
The following day, when Caddle learned that the Galdieri had been murdered, he met Bratsensis in the parking lot of an Elizabeth diner and paid him thousands of dollars. Bratsensis, in turn, shared a portion of those proceeds with Africa.
Galdieri had worked on the campaigns of former Assemblyman Lou Manzo, Mayor Bret Schundler and Ward C Councilman Steve Lipski and for Caddle’s consulting group.
In 2005 he ran for Jersey City’s Ward B city council seat. According to a 2014 article in the Hudson Reporter, Galdieri was arrested on drug and weapon charges on the eve of the election. After taking a plea deal and then attempting back out, saying he was set up, he spent two years in prison.
At the time of the murder, County Commissioner Bill O’Dea told the Jersey Journal that Galdieri was “a friendly, regular guy.”
Caddle worked as an aide to former State Sen. Ray Lesniak and headed up several super PACs to funnel dark money into local races. Caddle was executive director of the group Houston Votes which was accused of collecting fraudulent voter registration cards. According to the New York Times, he worked as a political consultant for Senator Robert Menendez when he was a congressman, from 2003 until early 2005, and billed almost $100,000.
Bratsenis had previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez to one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire.
Caddle is scheduled to be sentenced on June 29.