A former electrical foreman with Miami-Dade County Public Schools has been charged with accepting more than $60,000 in bribery payments from a vendor doing business with the district.
According to a press release from Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg and FBI Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro, Andres Barroso, 52, and a co-conspirator worked to secure more than 70 contracts over a two-year period to provide lighting services to Miami-Dade schools.
If an order exceeded $1,000, Barroso, a Hialeah native, had to competitively bid the project to vendors. But Barroso instead worked with his co-conspirator to ensure that he always submitted the lowest bid to win the project, said the statement.
According to the release, the co-conspirator, who is not named, owned a company that sold lighting fixtures such as lamps and ballasts and worked with Barroso from 2013-2015 to steal thousands of dollars.
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Barroso falsified invoices that said orders for lighting products were received by the city, according to the statement.
Barroso faces five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
This is not the first time a Miami-Dade County employee has been charged in a lighting product scheme.
A former government county airport maintenance director was charged with bribery, bid tampering and money laundering in January. Ivan Valdes, 46, was charged with steering nearly $9 million worth of high-tech light bulb sales to a Miami-Dade Aviation Department vendor and a distributor in cahoots with him. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.