Investigations

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Former Connecticut Bridge Inspector Debarred by FHWA

On February 2, 2016, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) debarred Barry Kenneth Purnell. Jr. for a period of 3 years. The debarment stems from Purnell’s guilty plea to larceny in the State of Connecticut. Purnell was charged with falsifying his credentials and education qualifications to gain employment with a Connecticut engineering firm. Purnell worked on numerous federally-funded FHWA projects and one Amtrak-funded project in positions to which he was not qualified.

In February 2015, Purnell pleaded guilty to state charges in Connecticut Superior Court, Hartford, CT, related to a scheme to obtain employment as a consultant bridge inspector under false pretenses. In August 2015, Purnell 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.

DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with Amtrak’s Office of Inspector General and the Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney Office.

Note: Exclusion actions (suspensions and debarments) are frequently for a specific period of time and the System for Award Management "Sam.gov" should be consulted to find whether a company is currently excluded.