NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Kentucky construction magnate Leonard Lawson is on trial this week in Lexington federal court for allegedly bribing the state's Transportation secretary during the past decade to win big highway and road projects. But that didn't stop Lawson family companies from winning $24-million dollars in federal Recovery Act contracts!
Though Leonard Lawson pled not guilty, companies with ties to Lawson should have been suspended from bidding for stimulus work within 45 days of his indictment on bribery, theft and obstruction of justice charges, according to a Department of Transportation rule. But, it took the Transportation Department 10-months to act - after the Lawson firms had won the contracts.
"I really think that's a shame and a disgrace," said Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee. "When people see folks getting away and getting contracts even after they've been indicted, that to me does not help in terms of us to get rid of waste fraud and abuse."