Friday, May 6, 2016

Remaining LDC defendants sentenced

Posted By on Fri, May 6, 2016 at 2:51 PM

A while back, four guys were charged with working together to rig bids for two big Monroe County contracts. Today, three of the men received their comeuppance in court; one of the three is headed to prison.  

The men were sentenced by Acting Monroe County Court Justice Dennis Kehoe this morning. Daniel Lynch, who was the principal in Navitech, the management company that landed the county contracts, received a sentence of 2 1/3 years to 7 years in prison for theft and bid rigging. He also has to pay more than $600,000 in restitution, $400,000 of which is going to Monroe County. He agreed to the restitution in his plea agreement and has already paid much of it.

The state Attorney General's Office built the bid-rigging case, which centers on county-linked local development corporations. The defendants were all tied to a scheme to steer county contracts to Lynch's company, and in his plea agreement, Lynch admitted that he helped draft the contract proposals and that he profited off of information fed to him by other defendants. 

One of the contracts dealt with upgrading and maintaining the county's computer and office technology systems, the other with upgrading and operating the countywide emergency communications system.

The other defendants in the case were the county's former chief information officer, Nelson Rivera; the Monroe County Water Authority's former security director, Robert Wiesner (who is also former County Executive Maggie Brooks' husband); and Lynch's Navitech partner, accountant John Maggio.

Wiesner previously pleaded guilty to a bid-rigging charge and received a conditional discharge.

Kehoe fingered Lynch as the scheme's ringleader. Lynch also benefited the most, largely due to the payments his company received through the contracts (though Lynch also admitted to inflating some contracts and billing for work that didn't take place).

"The rest of the defendants might best be described as foils in your scheme," Kehoe said.

As he sentenced Rivera to five years of probation and $60,000 in restitution, Kehoe said that he couldn't understand why Rivera participated in the scheme, since he got little more than a few trips out of it.

Maggio, who was Lynch's partner in Navitech, received a conditional discharge and must pay $350,000 in restitution. He'll also do 200 hours of community service, where he'll help a charity with accounting and bookkeeping. 

Rivera's and Maggio's sentences were part of previously reached plea agreements. 

Speaking before Kehoe, Lynch said that he takes responsibility for his actions and would accept his sentence. He apologized to the public and to prosecutor Mary Gorman.  He also apologized to his friends and family, as well as his co-defendants' families. (Lynch's attorney, Mike Schiano, spoke to media after the sentencing, and you can watch a video here.)

"I feel horrible for the pain they had to endure," Lynch said.

The two LDC's at the center of the case, Upstate Telecommunications Corporation and Monroe Security and Safety Systems, are dissolving at the request of County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo, who wants the county to take over their duties.

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