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Foreman Jailed, Fined for Approving Inferior Roadwork

David Nielsen, a foreman of Boise Paving & Asphalt, Boise, ID, was ordered by an Idaho State Court judge in Boise to pay a $5,000 fine, spend a minimum of 4 months in prison out of a 5-year sentence, and spend 5 years on probation for attempting to pass off inferior roadwork on state and Federal-aid construction projects. As a foreman, Nielson was responsible for ensuring the quality of his crew’s work partially as determined by a profilograph, an instrument that measures the acceptability of road-surface tolerances, such as surface smoothness. When he found unacceptable tolerances on a newly paved surface, he would submit a reading from an acceptable surface instead of grinding off the asphalt and redoing the work. He did this repeatedly on over half a dozen state and Federal contracts to the Idaho Department of Transportation and Ada County Highway District. The company fired Nielsen when OIG began its investigation in January 2001.