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$860k Paint Bribe Nets Short Jail Term

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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Painting contractor Harry P. Miconi should be out of prison before he turns 80.

The 78-year-old owner of several Connecticut painting and contracting businesses will serve just six months in prison for paying more than $860,000 in bribes to a public housing official.

Miconi, of West Haven, had faced up to five years in prison for his conviction on one count of conspiracy to commit bribery in connection with a program receiving federal funds, according to an announcement by Acting U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly.

Miconi's prison term will be followed by two years of supervised release, the first six months of which he must spend in home confinement. He has also been ordered to pay $862,563 in restitution.

Hartford federal court
U.S. District Court District of Connecticut

Harry P. Miconi, 78, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit bribery.

Miconi's sentencing had been set for Jan. 29 but was pushed back to Oct. 15.

The Pay-offs

Between January 2007 and February 2012, prosecutors said, Miconi and his businesses made a series of corrupt payments to Michael Siwek, executive director of the West Haven Housing Authority, and Switek's company, Four Star Development Company LLC.

Miconi owned and operated several businesses, including Harry Miconi Painter LLC and P and K Contractor LLC.

In return for the pay-offs, Siwek directed about $2.8 million in business with the Housing Authority and two of its housing complexes, Meadow Landing and Spring Heights, authorities said.

HUD
HUD

The West Haven Housing Authority provides housing assistance to low-income residents through a variety of U.S. HUD programs.

The authority provides housing assistance to low-income residents through various U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs, including Low Rent Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Program-Section 8.

Retired Housing Director

Siwek retired in summer 2012 amid ongoing FBI investigations.

In June 2012, the city received a HUD Financial Assessment that looked into financial practices at the West Haven Housing Authority, according to a local NBC affiliate.

"WHHA's viability is at risk due to the agency's poor financial condition, which is the result of a lack of internal controls over spending and a series of unsound management decisions," according to the report.

Siwek pleaded guilty Sept. 4 to bribery and tax evasion charges stemming from his receipt of about $1.5 million in bribes from Miconi and others while he worked for the housing authority. He awaits sentencing.

Ongoing Investigation

The federal investigation is ongoing.

The case is being investigated by the HUD Office of Inspector General, FBI, and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.

   

Tagged categories: Business matters; Contractors; Criminal acts; Ethics; Good Technical Practice; Government; Government contracts; Housing; North America; Painters

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