4/12/2005Ex-DC Transportation Official Accused of Taking Bribes
Former top DC official charged with taking gratuities from an engineering firm.
The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. has charged a former top District of Columbia transportation official with accepting $20,000 in bribes from an engineering firm which had a multi-million dollar traffic signal contract with the city. Wilhelm DerMinassian, former Associate Director of the DC Dept. of Transportation (DC DOT) Traffic Services Administration and Dunn Engineering Associates were both charged with a conspiracy to modify the District's contract to provide an additional $5.5 million to Dunn Engineering in return for cash and services to DerMinassian.
"Citizens have a right to expect that taxpayer-funded contracts will be awarded based on honest competition and not payoffs," said Scott D. Hammond, a U.S. Department of Justice Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Enforcement.
The engineering firm was responsible for the design, support, and inspection services for the replacement of the current DC DOT traffic signal control system throughout the entire city. It now faces $500,000 in fines. DerMinassian faces 2-7 years in prison and fines up to $500,000.