A onetime deputy commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Corrections is about to experience life on the other side of the bars for the next 46 months, for offering to help a laid-off DOC employee return to work in exchange for $10,000.

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Lydell B. Sherrer, 53, of Neptune, was sentenced today in a Trenton federal courtroom. He pleaded guilty to one count of extortion of a cooperating witness. Previously, Sherrer had faced a 12-count indictment for extortion and bribery involving five current and former DOC workers between February and October 2010.

According to information from the office of New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, Sherrer admitted taking half his demanded amount as an installment from the employee in May 2010, in order to get his job reinstated or place him with a department contractor. He also admitted collecting $69,000 in bribes from eight people, including five in the indictment, between 2006 and 2008.

Sherrer agrees also to three years of supervised release after completing his term, the forfeiture of $9,000 and payment of restitution amounting to $22,500.