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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Contractor pays fine for fraud at Croton

By Adam Wisnieski
Posted

 

On Monday, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced it reached a $10 million settlement with Siemens Electrical, LLC for filing false documents with the Department of Buildings and the Department of Environmental Protection in relation to city projects including the Croton Water Filtration Plant.

According to the settlement, Schlesinger-Siemens Electrical, LLC, which changed its name to Siemens Electrical, LLC in 2012, violated the state Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises program and the city’s electrical code that requires electrical companies doing business with the city to have a licensed master electrician on the job.

This is the second time in recent years that a fraud case was settled with a subcontractor working on the filtration plant,  and critics, including Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Rep. Eliot Engel, are  calling for a federal investigation into the city’s $2 billion over budget project.

“I think there has to be a very serious examination,” Mr. Dinowitz, a longtime critic of the plant, said. “There really needs to be an investigation of the DEP itself and how this happened. The public has a right to know.”

From the time Schlesinger-Siemens was hired by the DEP in 2005, the company failed to employ a master electrician. 

According to the Manhattan DA’s office, the DEP awarded Schlesinger-Siemens a contract for the 26th Ward Water Pollution Control Plant in 2005, knowing it did not have its own master electrician. 

The DEP told Schlesinger-Siemens it was required to hire one  or it would not be awarded  additional projects. From 2006 to 2008, two members of Schlesinger-Siemens board of managers paid a master electrician $1,500 per month, even though the individual had no knowledge of  work the company was conducting.

“… when confronted by DOI investigators, the no-show electrician could not even describe the job he supposedly supervised,” Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said.

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