- Associated Press - Friday, April 22, 2016

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The former chief executive of a politically connected engineering firm has been sentenced to four years in state prison for his role in a $1 million scheme to get around New Jersey’s pay-to-play laws.

The state Attorney General’s office announced the 72-year-old’s sentence on Friday.

Birdsall pleaded guilty in February to corporate misconduct.

He ran Birdsall Services Group before investigators found that the company disguised illegal corporate political contributions as personal contributions from firm employees. The firm would have been disqualified from public contracts if it made contributions to campaigns and political organizations in its own name.

At the time of his plea Birdsall paid nearly $50,000 to the state. That’s the amount of political contributions he made that were reimbursed by the firm.

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