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FHWA Debars Former DCDOT Official for Three Years

On September 15, FHWA issued a notice of a three year debarment from participating in federal contracts to Wilhelm DerMinassian, a former District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DCDOT) official. DerMinassian pleded 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. A Dunn Engineering and Associates, P.C. official paid over $1,000 in hotel charges on behalf of DerMinassian while DerMinassian was on official government travel. In exchange, the company received favorable treatment from DerMinassian in his oversight and administration of a five-year $17.5 million Integrated Traffic Management System contract that Dunn held with DCDOT.

Additionally, DerMinassian solicited and received approximately $20,000 in cash and other items of value from another contractor in connection with his administration of a $12.9 million operation support contract. DerMinassian was sentenced in September 2005 and is currently serving a 30-month prison sentence. Dunn was suspended from participating in federal contracts by FHWA in June 2006. This investigation was conducted jointly with the DOJ (Antitrust Division) and the FBI.