Indictments alleging bid rigging have been handed up against Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks’ husband and three other men implicated in the county’s widening local development corporation scandal.
Indicted on criminal charges along with Brooks’ spouse, Robert Wiesner, a former Rochester police captain and former director of security for the Monroe County Water Authority, are Monroe County’s recently resigned top information technology official, Nelson Rivera, and two LDC executives, John Maggio and David Lynch.
At a late-afternoon news conference, Brooks promised a thorough housecleaning while denying personal involvement. Stating a policy of “never commenting on personnel or personal matters,” Brooks deflected reporters’ questions regarding her husband.
LDCs are private non-profits set up to provide services to local governments. The indictments come after a lengthy, statewide probe by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
“There is not a scintilla of evidence” linking Brooks to any of the misdeeds alleged among the felony counts listed in the indictments, said Brooks’ attorney, Dennis Vacco, of Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman in Buffalo.
Vacco, a former New York attorney general and onetime Erie County and federal prosecutor, said he was hired by Brooks to investigate corruption charges with “no holds barred.” His belief that Brooks had no involvement in any alleged crimes came after cooperating for months with state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office in the LDC probe, Vacco said.
Lynch, who previously was charged with misdirecting public funds to pay for a $75,000 tent at the 2008 Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club, heads Treadstone Development Corp. and was formerly an executive of Siemens Building Technologies.
Maggio is a CPA and owner of Navitech Services Corp.
Charges against the four men include money laundering, conspiracy, falsifying business records, offering a false instrument for filing, and combination in restraint of trade and competition. Of the four, Wiesner faces the fewest charges: two counts of combination in restraint of trade and competition.
The state officials allege the four men colluded in a scheme to steer Monroe County contract awards to preferred vendors. Lynch and Maggio are charged with laundering some $2 million by funneling payments from Navitech to Treadstone.
Separately, Lynch is alleged to have laundered more than $100,000 in stolen proceeds from contracts between Catalog & Commerce Solutions and both Siemens Building Technologies and Upstate Telecommunications Corp.
In both cases, the men created fake contracts, inflated subcontracts, and submitted fake invoices, using proceeds for personal indulgences and to make campaign contributions, DiNapoli and Schneiderman allege.
While not directly addressing the charges and stressing the importance of the public safety communications overhaul the LDCs were created to carry out, Brooks and Vacco promised housecleaning steps beginning with Navitech’s dissolution and the removal of any personnel found to have committed wrongdoing in other LDCs or subcontractors hired by the LDCs.
Arraigned before acting Supreme Court Justice Robert Noonan, Rivera, Wiesner and Maggio were released on their own recognizance. Bail was set for Lynch at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond.
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