The husband of the Monroe County executive is among four men facing charges in what the state Attorney General’s Office calls “an elaborate scheme to rig the bidding process for several multimillion-dollar contracts.”
Robert Wiesner, 66, of Webster — a former Rochester Police Department captain, former head of security at Monroe Community College and, most recently, former director of security for the Monroe County Water Authority — has been indicted, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced today. Wiesner is the husband of Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks.
Also indicted were Nelson Rivera, 37, of Hilton, former chief information technology officer for Monroe County, and John Maggio, 58, of Pittsford and Daniel Lynch, 50, of Rochester, business executives with ties to Monroe County.
Collectively, the four face a total of 43 felony counts, including money laundering, conspiracy, falsifying business records, offering a false instrument for filing and combination in restraint of trade and competition.
The state says these men rigged the bids for several multi-million dollar public projects, funneling the money to preferred vendors. In some cases, according to the Attorney General’s Office, they would create fake contracts, inflate subcontracts and submit false invoices. Then when they and their friends got the contracts, the indictments say they inflated the invoices and pocketed the extra money, used on such things as country-club golf outings. The attorney general’s office says some of that money was donated to political campaigns, although they don’t say which ones.
Lynch is charged in all 25 counts in the indictment. Maggio is charged in nine counts, and Rivera is charged in six. Wiesner faces only two — two counts of combination in restraint of trade and competition — and his lawyer indicated he still can’t understand what the charges are.
James Nobles, attorney for Bob Wiesner, said, “They are Donnelly Act violations, which in layman’s terms is bid-rigging essentially,” said James Nobles, Wiesner’s attorney. “But again they don't give a specific date, a specific alleged conduct. So I really can’t tell you what they’re saying.”
The four men turned themselves in Wednesday at the state attorney general’s office, and they were walked across Exchange Street to the Public Safety Building to get their fingerprints and mug shots.
Wiesner, Rivera and Maggio were released on their own recognizance. Bail for Lynch was set at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond.
Brooks spoke to the media late Wednesday afternoon, sharing the podium with former New York State Attorney Dennis Vacco. Monroe County hired Vacco to go over this case and advise the county on how to proceed.
Brooks said there are two things she does not discuss publicly, personal issues and personnel issues. So she would not comment at the news conference regarding her husband's arrest. She did say she is not resigning.