Ten current construction supervisors and one recent retired official of Consolidated Edison, the utility serving Manhattan and its northern suburbs, were arrested Jan. 14 for soliciting and accepting more than $1 million in kickbacks from a construction contractor since 2004. Work involved in the bribery scheme also included cleanup and repair of an underground steam pipe that exploded in Manhattan in July 2007, killing one pedestrian, injuring others and causing millions of dollars in damage.
Officials in the office of U.S. Attorney Benton J. Campbell would not identify the contractor, known only as "CW2," but said its president and co-owner, who also not identified, had paid the bribes in exchange for approving payments for work that was never performed. The Con Ed officials "also often demanded "a percentage of the 'extras,' or unearned payments made to the contractor," said Benton. One payment totaled $500,000, Benton says.