The former business manager of an ironworker’s union pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and will be sentenced in federal court in October.
James J. Kearney Sr., 76, of Belleville was arrested last November on charges he solicited and accepted $10,000 in bribe money. The money was to produce false union membership documents for a man from a construction company who said he wanted to use non-union ironworkers on an upcoming construction project in Hudson County.
Kearney is also charged with accepting $3,000 from the same man to curry favor for a construction project.
The man, who was not identified, became a cooperating witness in the case against Kearney brought by the U.S. District Attorney’s Office.
Kearney pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Jose L. Linares in federal court in Newark Wednesday to charges he unlawfully received a prohibited labor payment.
Kearney was the former business manager and an employee of Local 45 of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers, a local in Jersey City.
Authorities said in 2011 Kearney accepted cash and documents for the men who were supposed to get the false union identification. The meeting was recorded, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Kearney could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. He remains out on bail and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 30.
U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said additional agencies helped in the investigation, including the FBI, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations and investigators of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration.