By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | Thursday, September 20, 2012
A former engineer with the New Jersey Department of Transportation has admitted his role in a scheme that exchanged money for help with change orders for contractors doing major construction roadwork.
According to an FBI news release, Kenneth Huber, 64, of Budd Lake, NJ, pleaded guilty to one count of soliciting and accepting a bribe. Huber’s plea was entered in U.S. District Court in Trenton, NJ, before Judge Joel A. Pisano.
Huber worked as the New Jersey DOT’s resident engineer for federally funded work performed on New Jersey Routes 1 and 9 in Bergen and Hudson counties. As part of his duties, Huber authorized and approved change orders written by contractors that worked on the Route 1&9 Project above pre-approved bid amounts.
Huber reached a specific illegal agreement with one contractor to approve $300,000 in change orders, and in May 2007 he received $24,000 from that contractor. Huber used a bank check for $24,000 to purchase a tractor for himself with the money.
Besides the $24,000 payment in 2007, Huber also admitted to taking about $7,500 in other “corrupt” pay from the contractor, the release said.
Huber also admitted to receiving about $48,000 illegally from a different contractor working on the same project. Huber wasn’t charged for those crimes, but the FBI said in the release that the other payments will be “taken into account” during his sentencing, per the defendant’s plea agreement.
The soliciting charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Huber is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 17, 2013.
The investigation was completed by the FBI’s Trenton, NJ, field office.
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