The husband of Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, Robert Wiesner, was among four people who were arrested today as part of the State Attorney General's investigation into local development corporations. They've been charged with a total of 43 felony counts, including money laundering, falsifying business records, offering a false instrument for filing and combination in restraint of trade and competition.
Also arrested are Nelsion Rivera, the county's former information technology chief, John Maggio, the head of Navitech, which got an LDC contract, and Daniel Lynch, a subcontractor. Lynch was previously arrested in relation to the scheme and now faces more charges.
The indictment alleges Lynch and Maggio conspired to launder more than $2 million in payments through Navitch to Lynch's company, Treadstone. Maggio is charged with 10 felonies. Lynch is charged with 25 felonies.
The attorney general has been looking into the county's use of LDCs since the comptroller issued highly critical audits. The audits centered on Upstate Telecommunications Corp. and Monroe Security and Safety Systems. The county maintains these nonprofit entities help it save money, because LDCs have more flexibility in borrowing and bidding. But the audits found possible bid rigging, overspending and lack of oversight.
The attorney general has had a grand jury empaneled since July. Lynch, a former Seimens executive, has been charged with falsifying business records and grand larceny for his rental of a 2008 PGA tent using business funds. Wednesday's indictment supercedes the previous indictment. Only Lynch was held on bail, which was set at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond.
Wiesner is a former captain in the Rochester Police Department. He is also the former head of security for Monroe Community College and the Monroe County Water Authority. It's Wiesner's work at the water authority that has been under scrutiny. While he was head of security, the authority used an LDC for upgrades. He faces two counts of combination in restraint of trade and competition.
"Instead of using a fair and competitive process to award contracts, the defendants engaged in a scheme to direct the contracts to favored corporations, including Siemens, Treadstone, and Navitech. The defendants provided insider information to the favored corporations, which was not available to other companies responding to the Request for Proposals," the AG said in a press release.
Brooks has called the audits and the investigation political. The attorney general's press office notified the media of where to go to get pictures of Wiesner in handcuffs. Attorneys for the defendants say that may have violated the law against disclosing information about sealed indictments.