FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2014
NEWARK, N.J. – A vendor admitted today to conspiring to pay bribes of approximately $40,000 to NJ Transit employees to obtain snow removal contracts, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Edward O’Neill, 53, of Toms River, N.J., pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. O’Neill entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court.
According to documents in this case and a related case and statements made in court:
O’Neill was the president of PPW Contracting Inc. (PPW), which provided professional powerwashing and snow removal services for NJ Transit, an agency that received more than $10,000 in federal funds. Thomas Braden, 55, also of Toms River, worked at PPW as its vice president and secretary.
From September 2011 to March 2012, O’Neill and Braden agreed to give, and gave, a cooperating witness (the “CW”) who was an NJ Transit employee, approximately $20,000 in exchange for the CW’s assistance with securing the 2011-2012 snow removal contract for the Trenton, N.J., train station. From September 2012 to April 2013, O’Neill and Braden agreed to give the CW another $20,000, $8,000 of which was to go to an NJ Transit supervisor, in exchange for their assistance with securing the 2012-2013 snow removal contract.
On Dec. 28, 2013, Braden pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of bribery.
The conspiracy to commit bribery charge to which O’Neill pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing for O’Neill is scheduled for April 22, 2014. The bribery charge to which Braden pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Braden is scheduled to be sentenced on March 25, 2014.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford; and the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Joseph R. Fuentes, Superintendent, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the N.J. Attorney General’s Office under the direction of Attorney General John Hoffman and Elie Honig, director of the N.J. Division of Criminal Justice, for their roles in the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Luria of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Monahan, the chief of the Financial and Computer Crimes Bureau, Division of Criminal Justice, in the N.J. Office of the Attorney General.
Defense counsel: Robert L. Galantucci Esq., Hackensack, N.J.