A New Jersey political consultant has pleaded guilty to paying two hitmen to kill a Jersey City politico in 2014, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Sean Caddle, 44, of Hamburg, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire.
Vazquez allowed Caddle to remain out on $1 million unsecured bond, home detention with electronic monitoring and travel restrictions.
“This was a callous and violent crime, and this defendant is as responsible as the two men who wielded the knife,” Sellinger said in a statement.
“There is no more serious crime than the taking of another person’s life. The defendant has admitted arranging and paying for a murder by two other people. His admission of guilt means he will now pay for his crime.”
In April of 2014, Caddle solicited one of his conspirators (identified as “CC-1”), a Connecticut resident, to commit a murder on Caddle’s behalf in exchange for thousands of dollars.
CC-1 then recruited a longtime accomplice from Philadelphia (identified as “CC-2”), to join the plot.
On May 22, 2014, CC-1 and CC-2 traveled from out of state to the victim’s apartment in Jersey City. After entering the apartment, CC-1 and CC-2 stabbed the victim to death and then CC-1 set fire to the victim’s apartment.
After Caddle learned the following day that the victim had been murdered, he met CC-1 in the parking lot of a diner in Elizabeth. Caddle paid CC-1 thousands of dollars in exchange for the murder, and CC-1 shared a portion of those proceeds with CC-2.
While authorities did not identify the victim, multiple sources confirmed it was Michael Galdieri, 52, of Jersey City, who was found stabbed to death with his apartment set on fire on May 22nd, 2014.
Galdieri, the son of former state Senator James Galdieri, had worked for Caddle and had worked on several Jersey City municipal campaigns. He was also a friend of County Commissioner Bill O’Dea (D-2).
“I knew Mike since probably right after high school. He was very active in politics at an early age, his dad had been a state senator and he loved the game of politics. He enjoyed working on campaigns and staying up late in the diner talking about campaigns: he was a good guy,” O’Dea said over the phone.
“At the time, everyone thought that Mike was killed due to a dispute over drugs or money. This brings it to a whole new level. Obviously Mike worked on elections for Caddle.”
Caddle, who ran the consulting firm Arkady, played a role in running several super Democratic super PACs, including serving as executive director of the Committee for Economic Growth & Social Justice.
The PAC got involved in non-partisan races in Elizabeth, the hometown of former state Senator Ray Lesniak, a longtime political ally of Caddle, Newark and Bayonne – helping Jimmy Davis get elected mayor in the June 2014 runoff, as PolitickerNJ reported.
“Today’s guilty plea will bring some sense of closure to the victim’s family who have been left to wonder – for nearly eight years – who murdered their loved one,” FBI Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. said.
“This should serve as a warning to criminals and potential criminals, alike – while you are going about your life, thinking you ‘got away with it,’ the FBI is piecing together the facts that will serve as your undoing.”
Caddle faces a maximum potential penalty of life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.