Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Ex-engineering exec draws jail term for pay-to-play role

A top executive of the politically connected engineering firm toppled by an investigation into illegal campaign contributions will serve nine months in a county jail for his role in the scheme, authorities said.
S.P. Sullivan reports for NJ.com:

Former Birdsall Services Group senior vice president William Birdsall, 67, is also barred for 10 years from bidding on public contracts in New Jersey after admitting to circumventing the state's pay-to-play laws, according to the state Attorney General's Office.
Birdsall, of Manchester, is the brother of the firm's former CEO
William Birdsall
Howard Birdsall, who received a four-year sentence for the scheme.
The Monmouth County firm folded in 2013 after investigators found the Birdsalls and their employees were reimbursed by the company for donations they made individually to New Jersey politicians, in violation of the state's pay-to-play laws.
Company records obtained by The Star-Ledger that year showed that hundreds of politicians, from mayors and freeholders to major state power brokers, received money from the firm. Those donations came in the form of personal checks from shareholders and firm employees, who were reimbursed through bonus payments and other means, authorities said.
In a statement Monday, acting Attorney General Christopher Porrino said the company "secured millions of dollars in public contracts for which they should have been disqualified, stacking the deck in their favor in exactly the way the law was intended to prevent."
William Birdsall was also ordered to pay the state $129,115 — the total amount of money he personally donated on behalf of the company — along with a $75,000 public corruption profiteering penalty, authorities said.
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