Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Wiesner pleads guilty in bid-rigging case

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 12:17 PM

Robert Wiesner has pleaded guilty to a felony criminal charge, but under his agreement with the state Attorney General's Office, won't serve any jail time. He will have to pay a $5,000 fine forfeit $3,000 in illegal gains. 

click to enlarge Robert Wiesner - FILE PHOTO
  • Robert Wiesner
Wiesner, the husband of former Monroe County executive Maggie Brooks, is one of four men the AG's Office charged as part of an alleged bid-rigging scheme involving county-linked local development corporations. He faced a sole low-level felony charge, and today pleaded guilty to combination in restraint of trade and competition in violation of the state's General Business Law, according to a release from the AG's office. That mouthful means that he worked with other defendants to rig millions of dollars in public works contracts.

The bid-rigging case centers on two county-linked local development corporations, Upstate Telecommunications Corporation and Monroe Security and Safety Systems Local Development Corporation; the former leases office equipment and computer systems to the county, the latter upgraded and maintains the county-wide emergency communications system.

Wiesner's plea deals only with M3S, and specifically its formation and its bidding on the county contract for the emergency communications system. He started meeting with people, including co-defendants Daniel Lynch and former county information services director Nelson Rivera in 2007 when he was security director for the Monroe County Water Authority. They met through 2009, when the project was put out to bid, according to the plea deal filed with the court.

Wiesner says that he helped Lynch put together a team to bid on the public safety communications project. In his plea, Wiesner says he knew he was giving Lynch's company, Navitech, inside information which provided it with an unfair advantage in the bidding. M3S hired Navitech to manage the emergency communications project. 

As part of the plea agreement, Wiesner also confirms that he, Lynch, and Rivera were involved in drafting the request for proposals for the public safety communications project.

Wiesner received  a three-year conditional discharge and will pay a $5,000 fine. He also agreed to forfeit $3,000 of illegal gain — a discounted home security system and discounted monitoring services he received from another company involved in the M3S bidding.

Accountant John Maggio, one of the other defendants in the case, previously entered into a plea agreement. He'll be sentenced in the spring on a misdemeanor charge, as long as he abides by the conditions of the agreement, including promises to cooperate and testify for the AG's Office. Under the agreement, he would receive a one-year conditional discharge and would have to provide 200 hours of voluntary accounting services for a charity or nonprofit.

Wiesner Signed Plea Agreement

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