A Hudson County official has been charged with bribery and extortion among other charges after allegedly accepting cash to delete construction violations, according to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office (HCPO).
Hudson County roads inspector Barry Smith was charged with bribery, theft by extortion, and official misconduct charges following an investigation. The HCPO Public Integrity Unit, Special Investigations Section made the arrest in conjunction with the Special Investigations Unit of the Bayonne Police Department.
Smith, 52, of Bayonne, was arrested on the afternoon of Thursday, May 21. The arrest occurred after he allegedly asked for and accepted a cash payment to delete any violations he may have issued regarding a construction.
According to the HCPO, the project involved in the bribe was located in the area of Kennedy Boulevard and 15th Street in Bayonne.
The charges against Smith also allege that he previously accepted a similar cash payment in December of 2019.
Smith has been charged with second degree bribery, second degree theft by extortion, and two counts of official misconduct in the second-degree and in the third-degree.
Prosecutor Suarez credited the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office HCPO Public Integrity Unit, Special Investigations Section and the Special Investigations Unit of the Bayonne Police Department with the investigation that led to Smith’s arrest.
HCPO has advised any other individuals who may be victims of Barry Smith to contact the Public Integrity Unit, Special Investigations Section at 201-795-6400, ext. 6724 or ext. 6727.
The above charges are merely accusations. Smith is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Earlier in the year, two other Hudson County officials were charged with allegedly taking bribes, including former Jersey City School Board President Sudhan Thomas and former state assemblyman and Bayonne mayoral candidate Jason O’Donnell.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.