TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The mayor of New Jersey’s ninth largest town is free on $100,000 bond after surrendering to the FBI to face extortion charges.

Hamilton Township Mayor John Bencivengo appeared in court Thursday to be told of the charges. He did not speak in court other than to answer yes or no questions from the judge.

Federal prosecutors allege Bencivengo took $12,400 in bribes from a cooperating witness between May and July 2011 in exchange for using his influence over a health insurance contact with the township’s school district.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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