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Florida Road Superintendent Pleads to Theft of Asphalt from Federal-Aid Road Project

Ray W. Root of Port Richey, FL, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Tampa, FL, to stealing more than $21,000 worth of asphalt millings from a Federal-aid highway project. In the fall 1998, Root served as a road superintendent for Couch Construction, the primary contractor on a Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) road resurfacing project along U.S. Highway 19 in Pasco County, FL. Root contracted to mill the road surface and return the millings to FDOT. Instead he stole a large quantity of the millings and sold them for personal profit. Asphalt millings can be mixed with new asphalt or used like gravel to fill potholes and cover dirt roads and driveways. Root’s sentencing date has not been set. The case was investigated jointly by OIG, FDOT OIG, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.