%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ The former superintendent of sewers for Camden pleaded guilty to corruption Monday, admitting he took $20,800 from a contractor in return for favorable treatment.

Robert Gibson said he took money from two executives of United Gunite, W. Steven Carroll and Gerald D. Free, Assistant U.S. Attorney Perry Carbone said.

United Gunite has been involved in several other corruption cases. Gibson lawyer Leonard S. Baker portrayed his client as a victim of the corrupt regime of former Mayor Milton Milan, who is serving a seven-year prison term for corruption.

Carroll and Free began cooperating with authorities in 2000 and pleaded guilty to bribery charges last year.

Their assistance has also led to a guilty plea from the Paterson city engineer and the indictment in January of Paterson Mayor Martin G. Barnes.

A raid last month at the offices of Essex County Executive James Treffinger seeking Gunite-related documents caused Treffinger to drop his bid for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

Gibson, 60, of Camden, faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when sentenced Sept. 9. Under federal guidelines, the actual term is likely to be 18 to 24 months.


On the Net:

U.S. Attorney's Office: http://www.njusao.org/break.html