Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Alabama Official Gets 10 Years in Prison for Accepting Bribes

A former Jefferson County, Alabama elected commissioner was sentenced on July 29, 2010 to ten years in prison for accepting bribes from an engineering company in exchange for awarding, without use of competitive selection processes, more than $11 million in sewer-related professional service contracts to the company, U.S. Infrastructure.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Sohan Singh of U.S. Infrastructure "regularly gave White $100 bills in white envelopes.  The amount routinely was $2,000, but ranged from $1,000 to $4,000."

Restitution Ordered:  The federal judge who sentenced Gary White also ordered White "to pay $22,000 in restitution to the Jefferson County Commission and to forfeit $22,000 to the government as proceeds of illegal activity."  Whilte must report to prison on August 30, 2010.

Click here to read the press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Question:  Does your public agency have controls in place to prevent abuses such as this, and do you have clear consultant selection procedures that include review of the selection process by more than one individual?  Checks and balances in procurement systems are important tools.

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