Ex-corrections officer gets 20 years for fatal North Bergen hit-and run that killed 2 GOP officials

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A former Hudson County corrections officer was sentenced to 20 years in state prison for a fatal 2017 hit-and-run that claim the lives of two local Republican leaders, Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.

Michael Hansen. Photo courtesy of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Hudson County Superior Court Judge Patrick Arre sentenced Michael Hansen, 40, of North Bergen, to 20 years in state prison for two counts of death by auto earlier today.

Hansen pleaded guilty to death by auto on May 31, 2019 in relation to the deaths of Russell Maffei and Marie Tauro in a North Bergen fatal collision that occurred on April 2, 2017.

Maffei was a longtime leader of the Jersey City GOP and was also a state GOP committeeman, while Tauro was a former vice president of the Jersey City Tea Party.

She was also serving as a commissioner on the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority at the time of her death.

Hansen was sentenced to a 10-year prison term for the death of each victim, to be served consecutively. The sentence is subject to the No Early Release Act which requires Hansen to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole: a minimum of 17 years.

He will also be subject to 10 years of parole supervision when he is released from prison.

On April 2, 2017, members of the North Bergen Police Department responding to a report of a pedestrian struck found Jersey City residents Maffei and Tauro lying near the intersection of Paterson Plank Road and Kennedy Boulevard.

They were both pronounced dead later that evening.

During his guilty plea on May 31st, Hansen, who was a Hudson County Corrections Officer
at the time of the collision, admitted to recklessly causing the death of the victims while being intoxicated and within 1,000 feet of a school zone and was unsuccessful in subsequently trying to revoke his guilty plea.

The state was represented in this case by Assistant Prosecutor Lynne Seborowski of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit.