- Associated Press - Thursday, July 13, 2017

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A former high-ranking official with the company that oversaw Newark’s water services has been sentenced to eight years in prison after accepting nearly $1 million in kickback payments for helping to award work to contractors.

Donald Bernard Sr. was sentenced by a federal judge Thursday after pleading guilty in January 2016 to using interstate facilities to promote and facilitate bribery and filing a false personal tax return.

Bernard admitted accepting $956,948 in kickbacks in exchange for assistance that he and former executive director Linda Watkins Brashear provided to the contractors. Brashear pleaded guilty in December 2015.

The two paid money to contractors at inflated rates above the amount of work that was performed and in some cases no work was performed.

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