Updated 2.27.23

A Philadelphia man was sentenced today in federal court to 240 months in prison for conspiring to murder Jersey City political operative Michael Galdieri.

Bomani Africa, 62, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez to one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire.

According to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger, Galdieri was killed at the behest of political consultant Sean Caddle, 45, of Hamburg, New Jersey.

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 asked George 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.

Caddle pleaded guilty on Jan. 25, 2022 and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 22.

Bratsenis pleaded guilty on March 24, 2022, and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 29.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez sentenced Africa to five years of supervised release.

Aaron is a writer, musician and lawyer. Aaron attended Berklee College of Music and the State University of New York at Purchase. Aaron served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. He received a J.D....