A Pompano Beach contractor has been charged by federal authorities with bribery for accepting money to steer a state Department of Transportation contract to a subcontractor working on traffic signals in the Florida Keys, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Ron Capobianco Jr., 40, is charged with committing bribery in connection with programs receiving federal funds. If convicted, he could get 10 years in prison. He had his first appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Seltzer Wednesday morning.
He is accused of accepting $4,000 for steering a $25,000 contract to a subcontractor. Prosecutors did not say who that subcontractor is or whether the subcontractor approached authorities or they approached the subcontractor.
DOT considered Capobianco an expert on signalization and lighting construction, including the use of video cameras for traffic signalization and control. Prosecutors say that around 2009, DOT began its work in Marathon to improve traffic flow.
They say that around May 2009, an agent of the subcontractor offered to pay Capobianco $5,000 if the subcontractor could receive at least $25,000 to install video detection equipment. Capobianco reportedly agreed to the deal, enabling the subcontractor to make a significant profit.
The subcontractor's estimate was approved and subsequently paid by the state after the equipment was installed. Then around May 2009, Capobianco reportedly met with an agent of the subcontractor in Plantation in Broward County and was paid $4,000 in cash for his help getting the subcontractor the work.
An earlier version of this article gave a wrong employer for Ron Capobianco.