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More charges against former state corrections official in bribery case

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

A federal indictment handed up today adds four more instances of extortion and soliciting bribes against a former high-ranking official with the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

Lydell B. Sherrer

Lydell B. Sherrer, 51, already was facing charges in connection with two DOC employees — one of whom said promised to help find a job in exchange and another who said he offered help in the worker’s discrimination suit against the department for $6,500, U.S. Attorney Paul. J. Fishman said.

The indictment returned today adds four additional bribery counts involving attempts to receive bribes from three other department employees.

In one instance at his Trenton office, the indictment alleges, Sherrer met with an officer interested in a promotion, “and showed a note that said ‘10,000’ – explaining that Sherrer would attempt to secure a promotion for the employee in exchange for $10,000.”

Federal agents arrested Sherrer in October after he drove to Princeton in his state car for what they said was to collect a $2,000 bribe from a corrections officer. To that point, the government alleges, the 29-year department veteran collected $19,000 of $52,500 he sought beginning the previous February.

The indictment cites three additional victims — all unnamed, of course. It alleges that Sherrer sought kickbacks for “hiring Individual 3, promoting Individual 4, and promoting and transferring Individual 5.

Sherrer remains free on a $100,000 secured bond based on the original charges. A court date based on the new counts will be set.

Fishman credited the FBI’s Newark field office and thanked the state corrections department’s Special Investigation Division for its “cooperation and assistance throughout the investigation.” Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Skahill of the Fishman’s Special Prosecutions Division is handling the case.

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