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Former executive charged with providing an illegal gratuity to D.C. public official

On February 23, Kenneth Keitt, former vice president of DMJM+Harris, Inc., was indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C. on charges of providing an illegal gratuity to a former D.C. transportation official. Keitt was accused of paying $6,900 to Wilhelm DerMinassian, who at the time was associate director of the Traffic Services Administration of the D.C. Department of Transportation, in exchange for favorable treatment in overseeing a FHWA–funded contract to assist the District in managing increased road traffic following September 11, 2001. DMJM was awarded a contract worth as much as $12.9 million to provide transportation consulting services to the District. The company could have received the entire $12.9 million award, if the District exercised all four option years.

DerMinassian pleaded guilty in April 2005 to one count of wire fraud and one count of receiving gratuities in connection with subverting the competitive process for federally funded contracts and was ordered to serve 30 months incarceration, 3 years of supervised release, and restitution of $50,000. He was also debarred by FHWA from receiving federal contracts for three years. This case was investigated with the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and the FBI.