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Article Misidentified District Involved In Case Against Former Newark Mayor

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An article in the Aug. 2, 2000, issue of Education Week about the indictment of a former mayor of Newark, N.J., on federal charges related to his firm’s management of a school construction project misidentified the district involved. It is the 7,800-student Irvington Township district in Essex County, N.J., not the Irvington Union Free School District in Westchester County, N.Y., as was erroneously reported. ("Former N.J. Mayor Accused of Bilking N.Y. District.")

Kenneth A. Gibson is charged with defrauding the Irvington, N.J., school board in connection with the $50 million project, for which Mr. Gibson’s Newark-based engineering firm, Gibson Associates, served as construction manager.

An indictment returned by a federal grand jury in July charged Mr. Gibson and two associates with conspiracy, fraud, bribery, and tax schemes beginning in 1991, when his firm was hired by the board. The three are scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 21.

A lawyer for Mr. Gibson has said that her client cooperated fully with the federal investigation of the matter and that he is confident he will be vindicated when all the facts are known. She called the indictment “unfortunate and unwarranted.”

The Irvington project, which was financed through the sale of bonds, included the construction of Thurgood Marshall Middle School as well as renovations and expansions of the district’s Myrtle Avenue and Union Avenue schools, according to U.S. Attorney Robert J. Cleary, whose Newark-based office is prosecuting the case.

While the middle school was completed in 1994, work on the other two schools was delayed for two years and wasn’t completed until September 1998, federal authorities said.

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