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Former Tennessee Department of Transportation Employee Charged with Soliciting and Accepting Bribes from a Sub-Contractor

On January 18, 2011, James D. Hagar was charged in U.S. District Court, Nashville, Tennessee, with soliciting and accepting $30,000 from a Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) sub-contractor. 

From 2001 through 2005, the State of Tennessee, through TDOT received more than $10,000 per year from a federal program aimed at building and maintaining public roadways.  One of the road projects involved widening a stretch of Interstate 65 and installing five "impact attenuaters", devices that absorb errant motor vehicle's kinetic energy and/or redirecting an errant motor vehicle away from a hazard or from machinery or workers engaged in road work, at a cost of $16,000 to the state.  However, based on Mr. Hagar's recommendation, 17 additional attenuaters were installed and approved by TDOT that resulted in the state paying an additional $272,000 to one of the sub-contractors.  Mr. Hagar solicited and accepted $30,000 from a principal/employee of that sub-contractor on account of and in connection with Hagar's recommendations that TDOT approve the additional attenuaters.  If convicted, Mr. Hagar faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

This investigation was conducted jointly with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. 

Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the government, all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.