Former Irvington mayor pleads guilty to taking kickbacks

A former Irvington mayor and long-time city official pleaded guilty today to rigging school district contracts in exchange for thousands of dollars in kickback.

Michael Steele, 53, who served as mayor in the 1990s, will serve five to seven years in prison and pay $120,000 in restitution for actions he undertook as the business administrator for the city’s school district. Steele bought cleaning and maintenance supplies from a Florida company that would pay him a “bonus” of $5,000 to $20,000 per order, according to the Attorney General’s Office. Steele also rigged bids for a Lakewood-based construction company and a security camera installation company.

“Mr. Steele admitted that he took thousands of dollars in bribes generated by inflating contract costs,” said Attorney General Anne Milgram. “That money was stolen from state and local taxpayers who pay for this struggling school district, and from students who deserve to see school funding used to improve their education, not to enrich corrupt administrators.”

Former Irvington mayor pleads guilty to taking kickbacks