Agency moves to bar contractor following kickback scheme

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A West Virginia agency has moved to block an electrical contractor from doing business with the state’s Division of Highways after the company and its president admitted to taking part in a kickback scheme that illegally diverted $1.5 million in payments for traffic signal repairs.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the Purchasing Division started debarment proceedings against Bayliss & Ramey after the DOH awarded three contracts to the company. The company and its former president, Mark Whitt, admitted guilt last year.

Purchasing Division officials resisted sanctioning because Whitt hadn’t been sentenced. However, a Legislative Auditor’s Office report says that Whitt and the company admitted to violating competitive bidding laws, which was enough to stop them from doing business with the DOH.

Four others have pleaded guilty in connection with the scheme.

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