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Construction Official Acquitted in DC Bribery Case

Monday, February 25, 2019

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The vice president of a construction firm who was charged with bribing a D.C. Metro official was reportedly found not guilty last week.

Hardutt Singh, of Potomac Construction, was indicted in September on a charge that he attempted to bribe Erick Wilkes, the then-manager of Metro’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise department in December 2016.

Some Background

During the trial, prosecutors played several secretly recorded conversations between Singh and Wilkes, arguing that Singh offered to pay Wilkes cash in exchange for Wilkes’ help addressing a long-standing subcontracting dispute with Metro, the firm said in a news release.

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The vice president of a construction firm who was charged with bribing a D.C. Metro official was reportedly found not guilty last week.

Singh’s attorneys, however, Glenn F. Ivey and Matthew Wilson, argued that Singh never paid Wilkes any money, and that Singh had worked successfully to resolve the dispute according to Metro’s rules.

The full extent of the contract issues and the probe into the case is unknown, according to The Washington Post.

Potomac refers to itself as a minority-owned business on its website, which details a number of projects carried out for WMATA. The firm was reportedly involved in the Farragut North Metro Station project, Yard 1 Facilities Rehabilitation Project and Metropolitan Branch Trail Extension, among other Metro jobs.

According to the company’s website, it was also the design-build contractor for the WMATA’s paint booth building in Hyattsville, Maryland.

While the case was being investigated, though, Potomac was suspended from working for the WMATA; it had 15 open work orders (worth about $17.5 million) in varying stages at the time of its suspension.

What Now

Following a three-day trial in Prince George’s Circuit Court, a jury found Singh not guilty after less than two hours of deliberation, according to The Post.

Though Singh is now retired, Potomac’s federal eligibility has been restored. Metro has said that its business with the company is currently under its own review.

   

Tagged categories: Ethics; Good Technical Practice; Laws and litigation; Lawsuits; North America; Terminals

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