New Jersey. Government lawyers. Blackmail. You know this story doesn’t end well.
AP: A former assistant city attorney in Newark has admitted to blackmailing his boss.
Neil Braunstein, 40, of Fanwood, pleaded guilty Tuesday to trying to shake down Newark Julien Neals, the city’s corporation counsel director, for $750,000 and a promotion. Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow says Neals contacted authorities, who arrested Braunstein in his office May 26.
Braunstein, who had been in the position four years, faces three years probation under the plea agreement with prosecutors. The deal calls for him to be barred from government employment and undergo a psychological evaluation.
Braunstein attorney Anna Cominsky says Braunstein accepts responsibility for his misconduct and hopes the judge will respect the terms of the deal.
According to his official bio, Braunstein was previously an associate with various firms in Passaic, Morris, and Essex Counties, where his practice primarily concentrated on personal injury and workers’ compensation matters. He also served as a law clerk to the Joseph Scancarella, Passaic, Superior Court of New Jersey, during the 1994-1995 term and earned his J.D. from Widener University School of Law in 1994.
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