Ex-Hudson County roads inspector pleads guilty to taking cash bribes, authorities say

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A former Hudson County roads inspector has pleaded guilty to taking cash bribes in order to get rid of violations issued at a Bayonne construction project, Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.

Barry Smith. Photo courtesy of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Barry Smith, 52 of Bayonne, pleaded guilty to initiating and accepting cash bribes, specifically one count of third-degree official misconduct, during a virtual plea hearing earlier today. Suarez said in a statement.

The state is recommending a sentence of three years in New Jersey State Prison, with two years of parole ineligibility, as well as Smith’s forfeiture of current and future public employment.

On May 21st, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Public Integrity Unit, Special
Investigations Section – in conjunction with the Special Investigations Unit of the Bayonne Police Department – arrested and charged Smith with bribery, theft by extortion and official misconduct charges following an investigation.

Smith was arrested after he asked for and accepted a cash payment to delete any violations he may have issued regarding a construction project in the area of John F. Kennedy Boulevard and 15th Street.

The charges against Smith also allege he previously accepted a similar cash bribe payment in December of last year.

Suarez credited the HCPO’s Public Integrity Unit, as well as Special Investigations Section and the Special Investigations Unit of the Bayonne Police Department with the investigation and arrest.

Sentencing in this case has been scheduled for January 21st, 2021 before Hudson County Superior Court Judge Vincent Militello, who accepted the guilty plea.

Additionally, the state is represented in by HCPO Assistant Prosecutor Karyn Darish in this case.