Former Miami-Dade County Public Schools employee charged in bribery scheme

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.

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.