Small-time contractors charged with bribing General Services Administration managers

September 11, 2013

Five painters and other contractors were charged in recent months with paying bribes to General Services Administration building managers to win small-time work in a scheme dating back to at least 2008, according to authorities and court records.

The General Services Administration managers and several others pleaded guilty years ago to their involvement in similar crimes, and the latest round of indictments seems to catch more suspected bribers in a wide net.

Federal prosecutors in Maryland identified those charged recently with bribery as Carl Roberts, 48, of Clinton; Ronald Wilkinson, 60, of Brandywine; Robert W. Hales, 52, of Nanjemoy; Darold Patterson, 72, of Derwood, Md.; and Daryl Kitchen, 59, Upper Marlboro. The men, they said, owned various construction, painting and general contracting companies and paid bribes to win jobs at federal facilities in College Park, Silver Spring and D.C.

The bribes and the work, though, were relatively small-time. The GSA managers those in the group bribed were authorized to use government credit cards for work that cost less than $3,000, though they would sometimes make separate charges to keep each one under $3,000, authorities said. Prosecutors said that they were “cooperating with the government” when the men bribed them; at least one bribe to a manager came after that manager’s sentencing date.

The result was that the men typically paid hundreds of dollars to win a thousands of dollars worth of work. Kitchen, for example, paid $950 for $6,522.67 worth of contracts, authorities said. His lawyer declined to comment.

Prosecutors announced the indictments Wednesday. They said the most recent case was unsealed Tuesday.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.
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