DOE arrests on extortion and bribery charges

May 13, 2008 8:18:57 AM PDT
Four present or former employees of the New York City Department of Education have been arrested on extortion, bribery and conspiracy charges. The suspects are identified as Neil Cremin, George Ortiz, Milton Smith and Ira Sokol.

According to the indictment, Cremin and Ortiz of the Bronx, and Sokol of Brooklyn worked as supervisors in the division of special education students. Smith worked as an inspector in that division.

The division is responsible for providing bus and other transportation service to all public school students in the New York area.

The suspects are accused of soliciting and accepting cash payments from a variety of private bus company owners who held transportation contracts with DOE.

If convicted the suspects would face up to 35 years in prison.