A former New York State Department of Transportation engineer was sentenced to one year of probation in U.S. District Court in Albany, New York, after pleading guilty to misappropriating more than $17,000 from a road project that was largely funded by the Federal Highway Administration.
Court documents allege that Jerome Lauzon, 45, of Gansevoort, New York, served as the NYSDOT’s engineer-in-charge of a $10.5 million road reconstruction project on Route 4 in Washington County, New York, from December 2012 to November 2014.
Lauzon admitted that shortly after work began on the project in 2012, he asked the contractor’s project superintendent to purchase more than $17,000 in goods and services for his personal use using the company’s credit cards, according to his plea agreement.
Court documents claim the contractor’s project manager and other employees purchased a laptop, computer monitor, a home entertainment surround sound system, a printer, and gift cards for Lauzon’s personal use. Other items purchased for Lauzon included a lawnmower, snowblower and a power washer.
In return, the project superintendent asked Lauzon to reimburse the company for the goods and services using NYSDOT funds for the project he was overseeing, according to court documents.
Lauzon admitted to falsifying entries in NYSDOT’s books and records by “entering the expenses as seemingly legitimate project costs,” according to a press release issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.
Lauzon was also ordered to pay nearly $17,900 in restitution, which he did after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of official misconduct following an investigation conducted by the New York State Inspector General’s Office in 2017.
No one else has been charged in the case, according to Assistant U.S Attorney Michael Barnett.
“There are no other charges pending related to this matter, nor has anyone else been charged,” Barnett told FreightWaves.