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Former Connecticut Bridge Inspector Sentenced for Falsifying Qualifications

On August 28, 2015, Barry Kenneth Purnell, Jr., West Hartford, Connecticut, was sentenced in Connecticut Superior Court to 8 years imprisonment, suspended after serving 9 months to be followed by 5 years of probation. Purnell was also ordered to undergo substance abuse as well as mental health counseling. In February 2015, Purnell pleaded guilty in Connecticut Superior Court to the charge of larceny in the 1st degree. Purnell had engaged in a scheme to obtain employment as a consultant bridge inspector under false pretenses.

This investigation was initiated based on a referral from the Connecticut Department of Transportation that Purnell falsified his college education and engineering certifications he submitted in order to gain employment. From May 2007 to February 2010, Purnell subsequently worked as an inspector and bridge inspector on many federal construction projects funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and state funded construction projects for multiple engineering firms and continued to seek employment utilizing the fabricated credentials. In a December 2013 interview, Purnell admitted to DOT OIG Special Agents that he falsified his credentials and fabricated a diploma.

We conducted this investigation with the Amtrak – Office of Inspector General and the Connecticut Chief State's Attorney Office.