Jersey City Police Officer Admits Bribery Conspiracy Involving Off-Duty Work Assignments
NEWARK, N.J. – A Jersey City, New Jersey, police officer today admitted paying bribes in order to obtain compensation for off-duty work he did not perform, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.
Michael O’Leary, 35, of Jersey City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Private contractors and utility companies sometimes needed the services of off-duty Jersey City police officers for certain projects, including work in Jersey City that could obstruct the flow of traffic. O’Leary was an officer who was eligible to perform off-duty work.
From November 2013 through April 2016, O’Leary engaged in a conspiracy in which he made bribe payments to another Jersey City officer who was authorized to assign off-duty work, in exchange for that officer’s official assistance in submitting phony vouchers to Jersey City indicating that O’Leary had completed certain off-duty assignments. As a result, O’Leary was compensated for work he never performed.
O’Leary faces a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Pursuant to the plea agreement, he must also forfeit $39,587 he made as part of the conspiracy. Sentencing is set for Jan. 3, 2018.
Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy A. Gallagher in Newark, with the investigation.
The Jersey City Police Department is cooperating with the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
Defense counsel: John Lynch Esq., Union City, New Jersey