SUMMIT — A former municipal official has been charged with scamming the city out of $74,000.

Prosecutors say James Colucci Jr., 50, submitted fake invoices to the municipality using the names of two nonexistent companies between 2017 and February of last year.

City officials say Colucci had been hired in 2016 as a program supervisor in the Department of Community Programs and was promoted to assistant director in July 2018.

Colucci was suspended without pay beginning February after the police department began investigating "irregularities related to the Cornog Fieldhouse renovation project," officials said Friday in a written statement.

Colucci resigned in March.

On Friday, Union County prosecutors announced two charges of third-degree theft by deception via submitting fraudulent invoices and a charge of third-degree theft by deception via assuming a false identity. Prosecutors delivered the summonses to his attorney.

He faces three to five years in prison if found guilty.

“We are thankful to the Summit Police Department and Union County Prosecutors Office for its diligence in pursuing the criminal investigation," Mayor Nora Radest said in written statement on Friday.

An attorney for Colucci could not immediately be reached for comment early Friday afternoon.

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Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.