You hate to repeat misinformation, but sometimes there's no other way to explain what's wrong.
On Jan. 23, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Wilfredo A. Ferrer, issued a press release accusing a Miami traffic engineer, Ron Capobianco, Jr., 40, of Pompano Beach, with agreeing to take a $5,000 bribe from a video detection equipment company. The company was to be selected to install $25,000 of video equipment as part of improvements to Highway 1 in the Florida keys. The project is known as the Marathon Key project.
Capobianco, the statement said, worked for Metric Engineering, Inc., the Miami-based engineering practice with offices all over Florida. It was under contract to perform many services to FDOT.
The criminal acts, according to Ferrer's release, occurred in May, 2009.
Ferrer, or his staff, got it right as far as Capobianco being an employee of Metric. He was employed until Jan. 23, the day of the announcement. Carlos Duart, the company's president, said Metric put Capobianco on leave the same day the company learned of the charge.
The one problem, says Duart, is that Capobianco was not employed by Metric at the time the alleged crimes were committed.
It turns out that Metric hired Capobianco in April 2010, so he wasn't on the staff then.
"The only thing I can tell you is I'm in shock and trying to contact him," says Duart.
Yesterday, I mentioned the problem to Ferrer's communications staff. So far, the wrong information remains on Ferrer's press release on the Justice Dept. website.
Ferrer's press release on Capobianco also linked to a charging document related to another case, about a FDOT senior engineer also alledgedly involved in bribes or kickbacks.
So the whole thing was a little strange and no doubt caused Metric much aggravation.
Says Duart: "I've been doing damage control since last Monday."