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Owner of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) is Suspended by Oklahoma Department of Transportation (OK-DDOT) for Defrauding the Federal Government on a $12 Million Highway Project

On May 1, Walter Alan Patton, owner and president of Patton Construction, Inc. (PCI), Tahlequah, OK, was suspended by OK–DOT from doing business with the Oklahoma government and was issued a notice of proposed debarment. Both of these actions stem from a scheme to violate DBE regulations on a $12 million federallyfunded highway widening project. As a certified DBE, PCI’s $280,000 subcontract for concrete work on drainage ditch boxes and culverts would have satisfied the contractor’s DBE set–aside requirement. However, Patton conspired with a non–DBE to perform the work and made false statements on the payroll reports to make it appear as though PC1 empIoyees were doing the work. Patton pled guilty in October 2005 to a felony conspiracy charge and was sentenced in March 2006 and fined $40,000 and serve five years probation. This is an ongoing joint investigation with DCIS, the OK–DOT, and AF–OSI.