A Newark businessman avoided jail time for his role in a conspiracy involving a former deputy mayor, US Attorney Paul Fishman announced Monday.
Sonnie Cooper, 70, was sentenced in Trenton to two years’ probation and eight months’ home confinement for his role in the scheme, under which his company, S. Cooper Brothers Trucking, received city work due to the influence of Ronald Salahuddin, 62, who was named deputy mayor of public safety in 2006.
From the time of Salahuddin’s appointment, in July 2006, through October 2007, Salahuddin and Cooper worked together to pressure another contractor to share in demolition contracts at the Prudential Center and for the city. That contractor was a cooperating government witness.
Salahuddin, who was sentenced last month to a year in jail, had a secret financial interest in Cooper’s trucking company, having loaned the firm money to meet payroll and mortgaging $900,000 in property as collateral on behalf of the firm.
Cooper Monday was also sentenced to a term of supervised release and fined $3,000.