The former mayor of Carneys Point, Salem County, was found guilty yesterday of attempting to bribe a challenger to drop out of the race for township committee, authorities said.

John "Mack" Lake, 51, approached Anthony Rullo on at least two occasions in 2006 and offered him a paid municipal job if he would withdraw his candidacy. The committee selects a mayor from its members.

Rullo, a Democrat, declined and ousted the Republican Lake from his committee seat in November 2006, but not before reporting his story to state authorities.

Lake - who faces up to 10 years in jail and a $150,000 fine on each count - was found guilty of official misconduct and two counts of bribery following a three-day trial before Superior Court Judge William L. Forester.

- Sam Wood