A former state DOT official has pled guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for awarding construction and maintenance contracts. Last week a judge sentenced the former official to house arrest, community service, and a small fine.
Nicholas Martino was Assistant District Executive in PennDOT’s District Six for years. He accepted personal payments from an as-yet unnamed PennDOT contractor. In return he awarded them contracts, told inspectors to approve their work even when there were problems, and even looked the other way when the contractor didn’t do the work they were hired for. When an inspector refused to sign off on work that hadn’t been completed, he had the inspector fired.
“This state employee played with taxpayer money in order to get a payout for himself,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “He accepted bribes and knowingly allowed a contractor to not perform their work under their contract with state government.”
Martino is not the only former PennDOT employee to have corruption, bribery, or fraud charges brought against him. Since 2013, investigators have been charging and sentencing a steady stream of DOT inspectors, DOT managers, and contractors involved in multimillion-dollar fraud and bribery schemes. Martino was only charged after a cooperating witness gave evidence against him.
After pleading guilty to ‘conflict of interest – restricted activities,’ Martino was sentenced to between 9 and 23 months of home incarceration, 50 hours of community service, and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.