Ex-NJ Housing Official Sentenced in Extortion Scheme
The former director of operations with the North Bergen Housing Authority has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison.
John T. Kennell had pleaded guilty last December to extortion under the color of official right, admitting he extorted employees of a maintenance company that had contracts with the town. He took in between $100 and $400 in exchange for falsifying their vacation records.
Federal prosecutors say Kennell told the company the employees were doing work for the housing authority when they were actually traveling outside the country. The company paid about $12,500 to employees for the unauthorized vacation days.
Kennell netted between $2,000 and $2,500 from the scheme.
The 46-month sentence was handed down Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Newark.
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