7 indicted in NJ campaign donation scheme (PHOTOS)

Howard C. Birdsall, 69, of Brielle, the largest shareholder of Birdsall, who retired late last year as CEO. He allegedly made at least $49,808 in illegally reimbursed political contributions.
March 27, 2013 6:50:17 AM PDT
The retired head of a large New Jersey engineering firm and six other executives and shareholders have been indicted for allegedly conspiring to circumvent the state's pay-to-play law.

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The Birdsall Services Group was also named as a defendant in the indictment announced Tuesday by Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa.

The indictment alleges that 69-year-old Howard Birdsall of Brielle and the others disguised more than $686,000 in illegal corporate political contributions as donations made by company employees. The donations were made in amounts of $300 or less, which do not have to be reported to state election officials.

Joseph Hayden, an attorney for the company, said Tuesday night that the charges were "regrettable," noting that the firm has voluntarily made "sweeping changes" to its leadership and internal processes in recent months.

The individuals indicted are:

Howard C. Birdsall, 69, of Brielle, the largest shareholder of Birdsall, who retired late last year as CEO. He allegedly made at least $49,808 in illegally reimbursed political contributions.

Thomas Rospos, 61, of Belmar, a former Executive Vice President of Birdsall. Rospos was charged in a prior indictment in the case, but this indictment supersedes the earlier one. He allegedly made at least $241,000 in illegally reimbursed political contributions.

William Birdsall, 64, of Manchester, Howard's brother. He holds the title of Senior Vice President and is a significant shareholder of the firm. He is semi-retired. He allegedly made at least $74,459 in illegally reimbursed political contributions.

Alan Hilla Sr., 73, of Brielle. He is Executive Vice President for Business Development for Birdsall and a significant shareholder of Birdsall. He is also semi-retired. He allegedly made at least $148,309 in illegally reimbursed political contributions.

Scott MacFadden, 58, of Brick, Chief Administrative Officer of Birdsall. He allegedly made at least $77,957 in illegally reimbursed political contributions.

James Johnston, 51, of North Brunswick. He is President of the Environmental Consulting Division of Birdsall and a significant shareholder. He allegedly made at least $45,797 in illegally reimbursed political contributions.

Robert Gerard, 52, of Wall. He is the former Chief Marketing Officer of Birdsall and was formerly a significant shareholder. He allegedly made at least $48,700 in illegally reimbursed political contributions.


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