YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A former state Department of Transportation official admitted in federal court today that he took a $24,000 bribe from a contractor in exchange for help with a federally funded road construction project on Route 1 and 9 in Bergen and Hudson counties — in order to be able to afford a new tractor.
Kenneth Huber, 64, also admitted taking twice as much from another contractor on the same project, but it wasn’t part of today’s plea.
However, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano will take the other bribes into account when he sentences Huber on Jan. 17, 2013.
Huber, of Budd Lake, approved change orders that expanded the scope of the project by an additional $300,000 in taxpayer dollars.
In turn, the contractor cut a check to the equipment company so Huber could get the tractor, the government said.
Fishman credited the FBI’s Trenton Field Office with making the case leading to today’s plea, secured Assistant U.S. Attorney Harvey Bartle of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Division.