Two Virginia Department of Transportation employees and four private VDOT contractors were arrested last week and charged with alleged involvement in a bribery scheme involving the award of more than $9.1 million in snow removal contracts.
Elmer Antonio Mejia, 50, of Aldie, was among the contractors charged with conspiracy and mail fraud and faces up to 20 years in prison.
According to allegations in the federal indictment, from as early as 2013, Anthony Willie and Kenneth Duane Adams, VDOT supervisors at the Burke Area Headquarters, used their positions to enrich themselves by soliciting and accepting cash bribes in exchange for various favorable official acts, such as awarding snow removal work to local trucking companies during winter snow storms in the northern Virginia area.
Willie and Adams allegedly negotiated bribe agreements with several owners and operators of trucking and snow removal companies seeking snow removal work from the VDOT Burke AHQ. At their core, each agreement stated that the company owners would provide a percentage or a flat rate of their hourly contracts as bribes in the form of cash payments to Willie and Adams, in exchange for being awarded snow removal work and having Willie and Adams sign off on their VDOT invoices. Beginning in the 2013‑2014 snow season and continuing through at least the 2015‑2016 snow season, Willie and Adams received approximately $140,000 in cash bribes from the company owners under those agreements, according to the indictment. The indictment also alleges that from 2011 through 2016, Adams conspired with Mejia by negotiating an agreement whereby Mejia would sub-contract snow removal work out to an Adams-owned company, Supreme Landscaping. During this period, Mejia paid Adams more than $160,000, frequently disguising the payments as pay for snow removal work allegedly performed by Adams’ company.