Watchdog: Follow the Money

New York county official caught in contracts scheme

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Crime,Watchdog,New York,Corruption,Kelly Cohen,Waste and Fraud,Follow the Money,Government Contractors,Law

New documents show the former director of the Monroe County, N.Y., Water Authority stood to receive thousands of dollars for steering work projects to favored companies.

Robert Wiesner is one of four people charged in a wide-ranging bid-rigging criminal case, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

New documents filed this month focus on local development corporations, or LDCs — nonprofits Monroe County created to manage huge upgrades of its phone, computer and security systems.

The projects were worth millions in taxpayer money, according to the D&C.

Wiesner and four other local men are charged with scheming to steer work on the LDC projects to favored companies, inflate the contracts and then pocket the proceeds.

However, Wiesner's attorney, James Nobles, argues the court documents never show the deal came to fruition and his client never received any money from the contractors.

"There's no indication that he ever even solicited them," Nobles said about Wiesner.

The court filings are part of a back-and-forth between defense attorneys and prosecutors over the timing of the charges in the 25-count indictment, according to the D&C.

Read the full article here.

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