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March 13, 2009

Comptroller DiNapoli and District Attorney McNamara
Announce Arrest of Two Individuals Involved
in Bid Rigging at Central New York DDSO

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and District Attorney Scott D. McNamara announced two individuals were arrested and charged this week in connection with bid-rigging that occurred at the Central New York Developmental Disabilities Services Office (DDSO).

Norman E. Bertollini, a maintenance supervisor at the DDSO, was charged with second-degree forgery, a class D felony. His case was adjourned to April 22. Derek Skidmore, the owner of Skidmore Windows & Siding, was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. His case was adjourned to March 13. Bertollini was found to have forged bids related to construction projects at group homes. Skidmore was found to have submitted forged bids and thereby obtained construction jobs at group homes operated by the DDSO. Both individuals were released on their own recognizance.

“The abuse our auditors found of public dollars at the Central New York DDSO was shocking,” Comptroller DiNapoli said. “District Attorney McNamara and his staff have been aggressive in ensuring that those who acted inappropriately are held accountable. My office will continue to work with the District Attorney to provide whatever support he needs as he continues to look at the wrongdoing that occurred.”

“Financial crimes involving taxpayer funded agencies such as the DDSO violate the public trust and cannot be tolerated,” District Attorney McNamara said.

In January, DiNapoli’s office released an audit that found physical plant staff colluded with vendors, some of whom were family and friends of staff, to submit fake bids for sham entities, and even legitimate companies, to make repairs at group homes. Auditors identified more than $1 million in questionable purchases. In some cases, the state paid at least 40 percent more for work done at group homes than it should have. At the time, DiNapoli referred the findings of the audit to the District Attorney McNamara.

The District Attorney’s Office investigation into the DDSO is still ongoing.

Click here for a copy of the audit.



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