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Contractors Plead Guilty to Bribes

Contractors Preston Lewis and William Hardy pleaded guilty to offering bribes of unlawful benefit to former Irvington Mayor Michael Steele for official behavior. Photo by:

A Pennsylvania contractor pleaded guilty in August to offering bribes to former Irvington Mayor Michael Steele, according to Attorney General Anne Milgram.

Preston Lewis, 53, of Dingmans Ferry, Pa., pleaded guilty before Superior Court Judge Michael A. Petrolle in Essex County to a third-degree offer of unlawful benefit to a public servant for official behavior, according to Milgram.

On Aug. 14, William Hardy, 55, of Margate, Fla., pleaded guilty before Judge Petrolle to the same charge, says Milgram. Each man faces three years of probation, a $5,000 fine, and will be barred from government contracts in New Jersey for five years, she says.

Investigators say former Mayor Steele, 52, of Easton, Pa., engaged in two separate bid-rigging and kickback schemes between 2003 and 2007 involving Lewis and Hardy and $1.4 million in contracts, according to Milgram. The contractors said they provided bribes to Steele in connection with the schemes, she adds.

Steele was indicted in June on official misconduct and bribery charges for allegedly taking at least $120,000 in kickbacks for rigging school-district contracts when he served as business administrator for the Irvington Board of Education, says Milgram.

Source: Martin C. Daks

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November 18, 2019, 3:02 am PDT

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