Another city employee has been arrested as a result of the work o the Inspector General’s office. The attorney worked for city General Counsel Julien X. Neals, and demanded cash and a promotion in exchange for staying quiet about an unspecified offense. The employee was hired previous to the Booker administration. Newark city attorney is arrested for alleged blackmail of boss.
A city municipal attorney was arrested at City Hall this afternoon after trying to blackmail his boss for $750,000 in cash and a promotion, authorities said.
Neil Braunstein, 40, of Fanwood in Union County, threatened last week to accuse Julien X. Neals, the city corporation counsel director, of an unspecified offense unless Neals gave him the money and a better job, Paul Loriquet, a spokesman for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, said today.
Braunstein threatened Neals on May 19 and returned the following day naming the exact amount of cash he wanted, Loriquet said. An assistant corporate counsel, Braunstein was seeking advancement within the city’s law department, he added.
Why he allegedly chose that particular figure is unknown. Other details, including what charges Braunstein allegedly threatened to bring against Neals, were not available last night.
After he was approached, Neals contacted the city inspector general’s office, which launched a joint investigation with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Corruption Unit, Loriquet said. Detectives from both agencies arrested Braunstein around 3:30 p.m. in his office.