Pennsylvania County Officials Charged in Corruption Probe Involving DOT Contracts
On March 16, 2010, a federal grand jury in Scranton, Pennsylvania, returned a forty count indictment that alleged, in part, that former County Commissioner Robert C. Cordaro and current County Commissioner Anthony J. Munchak accepted monetary payments related to steering DOT-funded contract work at the County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS) (an FTA grantee) and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (an FAA grantee).
Specifically, COLTS received $9,694,424 in FTA funds to design and build an Intermodal Transportation Center. The DOT-funded contract was initially awarded to L. Robert Kimball. Mr. Cordaro and Mr. Munchak allegedly terminated L. Robert Kimball's contract and sole-sourced the contract to an unnamed architectural firm. The indictment alleged that principals of the unnamed firm provided $90,000 in cash to Mr. Cordaro and Mr. Munchak for this contract, and anticipated award of additional contracts with the County. The FTA previously required COLTS to return $907,345 on this contract due to the County's failure to comply with a federal regulation that required them to seek bid proposals from third-party design and engineering services contractors rather than issue sole-source or non-bid contracts. In addition, Mr. Codaro allegedly accepted cash from the principal of a contractor who performed work at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.
This is a joint investigation with the FBI, IRS-CID, and the DOT Office of Inspector General.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the government, all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.