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Newark official pleads guilty to bribery

Newark clerk plead guilty to tampering with public records last year

By Nikita Biryukov, October 08 2019 5:58 pm

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A Newark code enforcement official pleaded guilty to soliciting bribes from a man seeking to operate an after-hours club Tuesday.

An investigation found Tajji Williams, 43, solicited a $5,000 bribe from the club owner, promising he would notify him in advance of incoming law enforcement activity and prioritize his club’s paperwork.

Prosecutors will recommend Williams get 5 years in prison. He will also be permanently barred form public employment.

“With this guilty plea, we are holding Williams accountable for corruptly using his public position for personal gain,” Attorney General Grewal said. “Williams had a duty to protect the public, but instead he solicited bribes and offered to help this club operator evade city oversight. This was an appalling breach of trust.”

The investigation into Williams led authorities to a second city employee.

Qaadir Royal, 39, pleaded guilty to tampering with with public records. He was sentenced to three years in prison last September. Williams and Royal, who was clerk in the city’s code enforcement office, did not coordinate their criminal conduct.

“A critical mission of OPIA is to root out this type of official misconduct, which undermines the work of government and the trust of the people it serves,” Office of Public Integrity and Accountability Director Thomas Eicher said.  “We will continue to make strong use of New Jersey’s tough anti-corruption laws to prosecute crooked officials like Williams.”

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