What to Know
- Federal appeals court upheld conviction and nine-year prison sentence of former Newark Police officer.
- Janell Robinson, sentenced a year ago on mail fraud and conspiracy convictions, was ordered to pay about $289,000 in restitution.
- Robinson argued that the non-profit was not a city department or government agency however, appeals court disagreed.
A federal appeals court has upheld the conviction and nine-year prison sentence of a former Newark police officer in alleged kickbacks to the former head of the city’s scandal-ridden water corporation.
Janell Robinson, 46, was sentenced a year ago on mail fraud and conspiracy convictions and was ordered to pay restitution of about $289,000.
She was accused of paying about $50,000 in kickbacks to Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corp. executive director Linda Watkins Brashear in exchange for Robinson’s security company receiving contracts. Brashear and several others connected to the corporation pleaded guilty in what state auditors called an “egregious” abuse of public funds over a number of years. Brashear was sentenced to eight years in prison.
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The non-profit was created to operate the city’s water treatment and distribution system and manage its fresh water reservoirs in northern New Jersey. Robinson argued that it wasn’t a city department or a government agency, but the appeals court ruled last week that such entities exercise city powers and responsibilities.
State auditors accused former Newark Mayor Cory Booker, currently a U.S. senator, of exercising insufficient oversight over the watershed corporation. Booker wasn’t charged and has said he wasn’t aware of the corruption at the time.