A city official faces up to 10 years in prison after admitting that he had his staff create dummy bids to steer a municipal painting contract to his son, a commercial painting contractor.
Ralph Imbrogno, the longtime city manager of Clairton, PA, pleaded guilty Aug. 9 in federal court to theft from an agency that receives federal funds. He admitted having his staff submit phony bid proposals to steer a $9,995 school painting contract to Imbrogno Painting, owned by his son Anthony Imbrogno.
West Mifflin School District
|The city manager directed his staff to submit fake bid proposals for painting work at the New Emerson Elementary School in West Mifflin, PA, so that his son could win the contract.|
Neither Anthony Imbrogno nor his company has been charged in the case.
Ralph Imbrogno was city manager of Clairton for 11 years, until he was furloughed in June 2010, when he was 63.
Prosecutors say Ralph Imbrogno conspired with then-Superintendent Patrick Risha to defraud the West Mifflin, PA, school district in October 2009. Risha retired in November 2009 and died in October 2010.
Imbrogno admitted to having his staff submit two fake bids for higher amounts so that his son could submit the lowest of three bids required to paint the New Emerson Elementary School.
Fake bid proposals were submitted on behalf of Farkas Flooring for $10,995 and Yacavace & Planich Painting for $11,250, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
Imbrogno’s plea was for one contract; however, evidence in the case showed there were 10 other contracts awarded to his son between May 2008 and March 2010 that were obtained in the same manner, worth a total of $94,439, Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn Bloch told the Post-Gazette.
Imbrogno is scheduled for sentencing Dec. 6 and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years and a $250,000 fine.