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January 06, 2016

Ex-Official at Newark Water Nonprofit Admits Corruption

A former manager of the nonprofit agency that oversaw Newark, N.J.'s water supply pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges involving nearly $1 million in kickbacks, Bloomberg reports. Donald Bernard Sr., 68, a consultant and special-projects manager at the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation, acknowledged taking $956,948 for himself and his boss in exchange for helping steer work to contractors.

The nonprofit corporation received almost $10 million a year to manage the city’s 35,000-acre watershed, reservoirs, and water-treatment plant. It filed for bankruptcy last January. Former executive director Linda Watkins Brashear pleaded guilty last month to taking kickbacks from people seeking contracts for printing, marketing, design, and other services. A report by New Jersey's comptroller said the agency "recklessly and improperly spent millions of dollars" with little board or city oversight and that Ms. Watkins Brashear plowed organizational funds into high-risk trading.