- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey Transit staffer has admitted he got money from vendors in return for helping them get work with the agency.

Federal prosecutors say 55-year-old William Talerico, of Beachwood, pleaded guilty Tuesday to affecting commerce by extortion. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced Jan. 6.

From at least January 2006 to April 2012, Talerico was a supervisor of stations for NJ Transit, responsible for overseeing maintenance and custodial functions at some facilities.

During that time, he took “corrupt payments” in cash from numerous vendors. In exchange, Talerico used his authority and influence to help the vendors get work.

Talerico also was an intermediary through which corrupt payments were given to an NJ Transit supervisor. He got more than $70,000 for himself and the supervisor,

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