5 road pavers face fed fraud charges

(New York) Five of Long Island’s largest road-paving contractors and their firms have been indicted on federal fraud charges of rigging bids on highway contracts for Suffolk County and the Town of Brookhaven.County Attorney Christine Malafi said that because of the indictments Suffolk would stop paying the five contractors hundreds of thousands of dollars owed for finished roadwork.In addition, Malafi said none of the five contractors or their firms would be eligible to bid on future county contracts until the charges are resolved. “We’re not going to spend taxpayers’ money on contracts which were possibly illegally procured,” she said.David Barnes, a spokesman for the federal Department of Transportation, said the federal government usually considers barring the indicted heads of firms and the indicted firms themselves from participating in road work. Barnes said, however, the government considers cases individually.The heads of the five firms, identified by prosecutors as an “asphalt cartel,” were arrested Nov. 23 by FBI agents on similar charges.The contractors and the firms they operate cited in the indictment issued late Thursday by a federal grand jury in Central Islip are: William Louis Fehr Sr. of Pavco Asphalt; William Fehr Jr. of All-County Paving; James Haney of Suffolk Asphalt Supply; John Montecalvo of Montecalvo Asphalt Paving; and Frank Schambra of Sundial Asphalt.Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota on Wednesday also seized the records of Pavco Asphalt in connection with an investigation into possible corruption in the Town of Islip, including expansion at Long Island MacArthur Airport.Federal prosecutor James Miskiewicz declined to comment on Thursday’s indictments.Ray Perini, of Hauppauge, and Stephen Scaring, of Garden City, attorneys for Fehr Jr. and Haney, respectively, said their clients were not guilty.Montecalvo’s attorney, Nick Kaizer, of Manhattan, said he had not received a copy of the indictment yet and could not comment. Attorneys for the other two could not be reached.Malafi said in the wake of the indictments the county halted awarding a contract to a company owned by Haney – Newborn Construction – for work on County Road 83, North Ocean Avenue, and the bridge at that point over Exit 63 on the Long Island Expressway in Medford. Newborn had come in with the lowest bid of $8.4 million on the project. Malafi said the county will now consider reopening the bidding. Haney’s attorney, Scaring, said he hoped the county would reconsider.Following the arrests last month, George Hoffman, chief of staff to Brookhaven Town Supervisor John Jay LaValle, said if contractors rig bids “we’re victims of them.” The five contractors were released on $250,000 bail each after arraignment. BY ROBERT E. KESSLERSTAFF WRITER

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