WNY public works engineer admits taking $30K in bribes

A public works engineer who reviewed construction and maintenance bids for West New York admitted Monday that he took $30,000 in bribes from three contractors, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. However, the office did not specify the names of the three contractors.
The following is verbatim from the U.S. Attorney’s press release:
“The Project Coordinator and engineer for the West New York Department of Public Works pleaded guilty today to taking corrupt cash payments from contractors, Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra, Jr. announced.
“Tommaso Calautti, 44, of New Milford, admitted accepting a total of at least $30,000 from three separate contractors who sought to do maintenance and repair work for the Town of West New York. Calautti admitted he took the cash in exchange for exercising official influence in favor of the contractors’ companies.
“Calautti pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing and attempting to obstruct interstate commerce by obtaining corrupt cash payments under color of official right. The charge carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
“Today was Calautti’s first appearance in court in connection with the corruption investigation. U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler, who took the guilty plea, released Calautti on a $100,000 unsecured bond pending sentencing scheduled for July 15.
“Between May 2003 to July 2008, Calautti was the Project Coordinator and engineer for the Town of West New York. As the Project Coordinator and engineer, Calautti acknowledged among other things that he reviewed certain bids submitted for municipal construction and maintenance projects in West New York; he inspected the work performed under such bids; and he determined whether the work performed satisfied the bid specifications.
Calautti admitted that he accepted cash payments from the three separate contractors in exchange for exercising his official influence in favor of the contractors’ companies.
In one case, Calautti ensured that a contractor was awarded bids to do sidewalk and paver repairs in West New York in exchange for a total of approximately $10,000 paid in separate cash payments. From a second contractor, Calautti accepted $1,000 in cash to expedite payment on an outstanding invoice of approximately $29,000 for construction work done for the Town of West New York.
And finally, Calautti accepted approximately $24,000 in separate cash payments from another contractor seeking to obtain the yearly maintenance and sidewalks contract with the Town of West New York.”

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