Former New Jersey Department of Transporation Official Admits Taking Bribes
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 17, 2012|
TRENTON, NJ—A former official with the New Jersey Department of Transportation admitted today to accepting a $24,000 bribe from a contractor as payment for his official assistance on a federally funded road construction project, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Kenneth Huber, 64, of Budd Lake, New Jersey, a former engineer with the New Jersey Department of Transportation (the “NJ DOT”), pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of soliciting and accepting a $24,000 bribe. Huber entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From 2006 through 2008, Huber was the NJ DOT’s resident engineer on a federally funded NJ DOT construction project on New Jersey Routes 1 and 9 in Bergen and Hudson counties (the “Route 1&9 Project”). Huber participated in the authorization and approval of change orders submitted by contractors on the Route 1&9 Project. Change orders allow a contractor to perform and receive payment for additional work outside of the work initially contemplated by the project’s plans and specifications. In 2007, Huber and a contractor (the “Contractor”) on the Route 1&9 Project agreed that Huber would accept money payments from the Contractor in exchange for Huber’s assistance with regard to $300,000 worth of change orders.
In May 2007, defendant Huber solicited a $24,000 payment from the Contractor as payment for his past and continued official assistance in obtaining work and payments for the Contractor. Huber sought this payment to fund the purchase of a tractor. On May 16, 2007, Huber accepted from the Contractor an official bank check in the amount of $24,000. That check was made payable to the equipment company from which Huber was purchasing the tractor.
Huber also admitted that from February 2007 to April 2007, he accepted other corrupt payments from the Contractor, totaling approximately $7,500 in cash, in exchange for his official assistance in connection with the Route 1&9 Project. He admitted that from 2006 to 2008, he accepted approximately $48,000 in corrupt cash payments from another contractor on the Route 1&9 Project, in exchange for his official assistance to that contractor in connection with the Route 1&9 Project. Although this conduct was not charged in the Information, it will be taken into account at sentencing, according to the plea agreement.
The count to which Huber pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross amount of any gain that Huber derived. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 17, 2013.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Trenton Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Harvey Bartle of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Division.
Defense counsel: Henry Klingeman Esq., Newark