Neighbors: Cory Booker never lived in Newark
As Cory Booker looks set to win the junior Senate seat in New Jersey Wednesday, his supposed neighbors in Newark say Mayor Booker doesn’t live in the Gateway City.
Multiple residents of Newark told The Daily Caller that the longtime mayor doesn’t live at any of the addresses he has claimed as home. The mayor is believed to live in New York even though he is registered to run for New Jersey’s special senate election.
Booker, who filed to run for the U.S. Senate from a P.O. Box in Newark, is registered to vote at 435 Hawthorne Avenue but his next door neighbors told this reporter and filmmaker Joel Gilbert on camera that they haven’t seen Booker in years and that he doesn’t live there.
“Does he still live here?” Gilbert asked Booker’s neighbor, Tashay Thomas.
“He never did,” she replied. “His security guards live here.”
Why did he claim to live there while sending police to be quartered in a private home?
“Because he is a liar.” Thomas replied.
Thomas yelled out to someone across the street: “They’re looking for that fake mayor who says he live here. He does not live here!”
“Cory Booker don’t live here,” said James Sharp, another neighbor. “Only his bodyguards live here.”
Why did he tell people he lived here? asked Gilbert.
“So that he could keep telling people he did stuff but he is not doing anything. A lot of people getting killed and he’s supposed stop the violence but he don’t.”
Thomas continued. “He comes over here once in a blue moon,” she said. “I saw that man over there once and that was like in 2009. I come here every day.”
Sharp said he, too, hadn’t seen Booker around. “I have lived here for a long time.”
Thomas and Sharp said that they think Booker travels around with a police scanner and just shows up at the scene of high-profile happenings.
Looking inside the windows at both 435 Hawthorne and 19 Longworth confirmed that both properties were vacant—that is, except for two police officers.
One police officer, who said his name was Officer Martinez, told us that 435 Hawthorne was Booker’s home but property records show that the home is owned by Ife Okocha.
Cassandra Dock, a community activist critical of both Mayor Booker and Governor Christie, told us that the home on Hawthorne was actually a police station.
“I know he don’t live on Hawthorne because when I did the 2010 census I knocked on the door and asked and introduced myself as the census taker and asked the person that lived there and was told by the officer — cause that house is always filled with officers — that that was a police station so he can’t possibly live in a police station,” Dock told The Daily Caller.
Dock and her friend, Donna Jackson, are convinced that Booker lives in New York. “I really do believe he lives in New York,” says Dock.
The property at Hawthorne appeared vacant when this reporter went up to the windows. Booker’s other alleged home—19 Longworth St—was also vacant. Another police officer, who declined to give his name, greeted me there and told me the mayor wasn’t in.
Booker bought 19 Longworth St on 9/30/2011 and the Star-Ledger seemed to think he bought it as a home rather than a rental when he was delinquent on his taxes shortly after the purchase: “Perhaps the most illustrious among the laggard taxpayers was Mayor Cory Booker who, until Thursday, owed $2,820 for his newly purchased home on Longworth street.”
The house at Longworth was a murder house. According to property records, Fabio Borges bought the house in 2005 for $450,000 and was killed two years later in his front driveway by a tenant.
The property went to HSBC in a foreclosure in 2008. The bank sold the house to Cory Booker in 2011 for $171,000 (assessed value was $299,100)—a great deal if you want to live in a murder house.
But there’s no evidence that Booker lived there. The Longworth property is also not listed on Booker’s Senate ethics disclosure. Indeed, no real estate is, unless it is hidden inside “Cory Booker Management Trust,” which shows zero income.
The Hawthorne property’s public record is even more hallowed. Booker claims his widely publicized rescue of a neighbor from a burning building occurred next to that house. (Related: Newark activists say Booker’s fire-rescue story is all wet)
The New York Post did an exposé on Booker’s other property at 130 Court, which burst into flames and has been lived in by squatters. Booker recently sold the abandoned property for $1 to the Newark Now nonprofit, which he owns.
The Booker campaign did not return a request for comment.