Authorities Charge Joseph Mollica with accepting bribes

Federal authorities recently charged a former Cook County Forest Reserve District engineer with accepting “kickbacks” in the course of two district contracts.

Networking is an important part of many major business deals. Often individuals who are responsible for making a business deal or contract happen receive incentives from a grateful contractor or business partner.

While these incentives are common and accepted in the private sector, these types of arrangements can result in serious charges against public employees.

Federal authorities charged Joseph Mollica, a former engineer for the Cook County Forest Preserve, with federal bribery. Authorities say that Mollica had the ability to influence and award contracts for public work done under $25,000 and use this power to accept cash payments from contractors.

“Together, the indictment and complaint allege that on Oct. 14, 2011, Mollica accepted a $6,000 kickback from a $24,900 contract to refinish and refurbish the Forest Preserve District’s headquarters building, where he worked, located at 536 N. Harlem Ave., in River Forest,” Federal authorities said in a press release. “On Dec. 16, 2011, he allegedly accepted a $4,000 kickback from a $16,500 contract to power wash and stain the building and boardwalk and do caulking at the Sand Ridge Nature Center in Calumet City.”

Although a federal indictment is not a finding of guilt, it does have the potential to tarnish a person’s reputation. A count of federal bribery can carry a 10 year prison sentence and a fine of $250,000.

The Rolling Meadows attorney Donald J. Cosley is highly experienced in federal criminal cases. If you believe that you are under investigation for a federal crime, contact him online or call 847-253-3100.

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