PennDOT consultant arrested on perjury charges

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April 24, 2014 9:35:42 AM PDT
A PennDOT consultant has been arrested on perjury charges, the Attorney General said Thursday.

33-year-old Joseph DeSimone of Philadelphia is charged with one count of perjury, a third-degree felony carrying a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

The Attorney General's investigation began in March 2013.

A source came forward and provided evidence to the Attorney General's Office of widespread abuse within PennDOT District 6's Highway Occupancy Permit Program.

Among other information provided by the source, which the AG's office says has been corroborated, consultant inspectors were systematically overbilling for time they were allegedly performing HOP inspections.

Additionally, the Attorney General says evidence has been obtained that many of the inspectors were providing illegal financial payments to PennDOT District 6 supervisors who permitted the overbilling abuse to occur.

DeSimone allegedly lied to the Grand Jury by failing to disclose conversations, when asked under oath, which he had with the source before appearing at the Grand Jury on December 17, 2013.

The source, working with investigators, told the Grand Jury the same day that DeSimone had called him twice to find out what the source had told investigators.

Phone records obtained later corroborated the source's statements.

Those records, the Attorney General says, showed DeSimone had placed a nearly 20 minute call to the source shortly before appearing before the Grand Jury.

DeSimone was arrested this morning in Philadelphia.


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