A federal judge in Newark today sentenced Joseph Roque, the son of West New York Mayor Felix Roque, to probation and 100 hours of community service for hacking a website belonging to his father’s political foes.
Roque, 24, who was convicted by federal jurors of the misdemeanor charge in October, was also fined $2,500.
Felix Roque was tried alongside his son and cleared of hacking and conspiracy. His son was found not guilty of conspiracy, as well.
“I know this is something that can’t be expunged from my record,” he told U.S. District Court Judge Kevin McNulty this morning.
The judge, in turn, told him the conviction “does not have to be something that impairs you from having a good life.”
In fact, McNulty said, the younger Roque has “a lot going for him….Sometimes, we think good motives justify bad things.”
Federal jurors needed a day of deliberations to bring the verdicts.
Prosecutors contended that the elder Roque, 56, and his son hacked into and crashed a “Recall Roque” site created by Hudson County Freeholder Jose Munoz under a bogus name.
Defense lawyers made a stronger case for the mayor than for his son, for whom they didn’t argue against accusations that he accessed email addresses and passwords, disabled the site and then scrubbed it clean.
They accused Munoz of being a liar who worked as a snitch for federal agents and said the mayor had no idea how his son got the information.
FILE PHOTO: Courtesy nj.com