Police & Fire

Bridgewater Man Arrested for Alleged Bribery in Edison Construction Project

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NEWARK, NJ - A Bridgewater man pleaded guilty Tuesday to accepting $8,000 in bribes to allow a demolition contractor to use non-union workers in a building project, according to a release from the United States Attorney District of New Jersey.

John Adams, 58, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court, the release said, to charges of one count of accepting between $5,000 and $10,000 in bribes from an employer working on the New York Times building in Edison.

According to the release, this is in violation of a collective bargaining agreement.

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Adams, the release said, is the business manager for Laborers Local 594 in Middlesex County, part of the Laborers International Union of North America. When the New York Times building in Edison was renovated in 2009, the release said, DAMICO Inc. was hired to do demolition work, and was obligated to use only union workers, pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement with Local 594.

The collective bargaining agreement regulates employee duties, employer responsibilities and health care and pension benefits.

Adams, the release said, was required to make sure DAMICO followed the agreement.

During a 10-month period, the release said, Adams was paid about $8,000 to allow DAMICO to use up to 18 non-union workers on a weekly basis. Because of that, the release, DAMICO cost Local 594 union dues and benefit plan contributions.

As the project was finishing, the union learned of the violations and filed an arbitration claim, the release said. An arbitrator ruled in favor of the union in May 2013, the release said, and charged DAMICO's owners $50,000 in restitution for lost wages and benefit plan remittances.

Adams, the release said, is responsible, along with company owners, for repaying $204,000 in losses to the union's benefits plan.

With the bribery charge, the release said, Adams faces a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing will be Jan. 5, 2015.

According to the release, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman credited the investigation leading to the plea to agents of the Department of Labor; Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Garcia; and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford.

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