- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a contractor has admitted conspiring to pay about $40,000 in bribes to New Jersey Transit employees to obtain snow removal contracts.

Edward O’Neill of Toms River pleaded guilty Tuesday to a complaint charging him with conspiracy to commit bribery. He faces up to five years in prison when he’s sentenced April 22.

The 53-year-old O’Neill was the president of PPW Contracting, which provided professional power washing and snow removal services for NJ Transit.

Prosecutors say that between September 2011 and March 2012, O’Neill and another PPW executive agreed to give and then gave an NJ Transit employee about $20,000 in exchange for help in securing a snow removal contract for the Trenton train station. They say the employee was serving as a cooperating witness.

The two executives later agreed to give the employee another $20,000 - including $8,000 that was supposed to go to an NJ Transit supervisor - in exchange for their help in securing another snow removal contract.

The second executive, 55-year-old Thomas Braden of Toms River, pleaded guilty last month to bribery. He faces 10 years when he’s sentenced March 25.

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