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Ex-transit chief admits bilking 2 NJ schools

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — The former transportation manager for two New Jersey school districts has admitted bilking the districts out of nearly $566,000.

State authorities say 40-year-old Michelle Pumilia of Union Beach pleaded guilty Friday to a complaint charging her with pattern of official misconduct. She now faces an eight-year state prison term when she’s sentenced Feb. 24.

Pumilia worked as transportation manager for Hazlet schools from 2005 through 2008, then was transportation supervisor for the Piscataway School District from 2008 until last year.

Authorities have said Pumilia created a fictitious bus company and billed the districts for services. A Piscataway district employee alerted authorities after finding the suspicious invoices.

Pumilia’s mother, Virginia Lisay, was initially charged in the investigation. But authorities say those charges have been dismissed.