Breaking News: Craig Gerhart Resigns!
Published: June 3, 2009
Longtime county executive Craig Gerhart has resigned.
His announcement comes a day after indictments in a corruption scheme involving Prince William County’s Office of Information Technology. Gerhart has not indicated the bid-rigging case has anything to do with his decision.
Gerhart’s last day with the county government will be on Friday, July 3. Gerhart will start work for Amtrak on Monday, July 6.
Gerhart will work for Amtrak as a full-time independent contractor as the Organizational Strategist for Amtrak’s Policy and Development.
Stay with insidenova.com for a full story on the county executive’s resignation.
Washington Post, Tuesday, June 3, 2009
In one of the largest embezzlement cases in county history, prosecutors secured indictments Monday on 153 charges against Gupta, 45, of Woodbridge; Roessler, 50, of Woodbridge; Roessler’s brother Vernon, 42, of Dale City; and Richard Billingsley, 41, of Springfield. Charges include racketeering, bid rigging, forgery, obtaining money by false pretenses and money laundering over a five-year period.
Law enforcement sources close to the investigation said yesterday that Gupta and Roessler set up the company and arranged for it to win lucrative bids with the IT office. Two sources, both of whom spoke anonymously because of the ongoing probe, said the scheme involved submitting fake bids in the names of legitimate county contractors so that Praetorian could then compete with and undercut those bids.
Gupta was able to hide his actions because he was in charge of the process, authorities said. Officials said yesterday that there were 26 cases in which the men gave themselves contracts and made up bids from other companies.
Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert, Police Chief Charlie Deane, and County Executive Craig Gerhart discussed the 153 indictments handed down yesterday in a press release. The FBI is also involved because approximately $500,000 in federal grant money was tied to the scheme. This appears to be only the beginning.
This story seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. Phony companies, phony presidents of companies, fake company letterhead all are components of this tale of intrigue, graft and corruption.
The Washington Post story is listed above.
When do those companies who were denied bids kick in for their piece of the pie? Will these crimes affect our AAA bond rating? How will the corruption affect future grants? $500,000 is quite a jump from the previously reported $90,000. Was that earlier figure inaccurate reporting or is more being uncovered.
Corey Stewart continues his mantra:
“This is an embarrassment to the county, and the board will want answers as to why the internal controls in place the past five years were so weak and so easily bypassed,” said Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart.
I guess voters will be asking the same question in 2011 and those wanting to be re-elected will be having to come up with a few answers.