Palm Beach FL conspiracy: Public Works official offered contracts for kickbacks

Legal news for Florida criminal attorneys. Palm Beach’s construction manager accused of taking money for construction project contracts.

Florida criminal lawyers alert- Town of Palm Beach construction manager accused of giving construction contracts for kickbacks.

West Palm Beach, FL—The longtime construction manager of the Town of Palm Beach is embroiled in what prosecutors called a “classic case of corruption,” for allegedly receiving kickbacks in exchange for construction contracts within the town. The construction and public works manager was arrested on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 with a slew of felonies, as reported by The Palm Beach Post.

Steven M. White, 54, was charged with 25 counts of unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior and one count of conspiracy of unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior.

According to prosecutors, White monitored the emergency construction jobs, which do not go through the regular bidding process, in which construction companies would offer bids to compete against one another to acquire the jobs. The jobs didn’t go through the regular biding process because of time constraints to get the emergency jobs done. In December, an informant notified police that White had asked the informant to overbid on an emergency contract to repair a main sewer line on Tangier Avenue, sparking the investigation.

White allegedly deposited $250,000 into his personal accounts from the construction companies who acquired jobs from White with the town of Palm Beach. Dee Griffin Earthworks and Chaz Equipment also reportedly received payments from the town of over $4.9 million from January 2008 up until last month. Chaz Equipment owner, Gary Chajkowski, 50, was also arrested on Wednesday, and has since been released on a $10,000 bond. Chajkowski is charged with one count of unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior and one count of conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation. Dee Griffin Earthworks allegedly issued 20 checks to White, which totaled nearly $113,000.

Authorities are asking people with any information after the public corruption to contact the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office Public Integrity Unit at 561-355-7491.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Florida criminal lawyers.