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Crime & Justiceby Mark Reutter9:56 amFeb 4, 20160

6½ years for supervisor who pocketed bribes for 3 decades

Another surreal detail from the landfill scandal: A $29,000-a-year DPW laborer who made $160,000 a year by illegally selling scrap metal

Above: Entrance to the Quarantine Road Landfill. The scalehouse where trucks were waved through in return for bribes is to the left.

A veteran supervisor at the Baltimore Department of Public Works will be spending some of his senior years in federal prison for his role in a long-running bribery and thievery ring that has so far resulted in guilty pleas by five DPW employees and six trash haulers.

William C. Nemec Sr., 56, admitted that he started collecting bribes in 1984 when he was hired by DPW as a landfill clerk. He continued his illegal activities as a solid waste supervisor until he was arrested by federal agents last year.

Yesterday U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis sentenced Nemec to 6½ years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $6 million in restitution.

Earlier this week, Judge Garbis sentenced two trash haulers for their part in the bribery scheme as well as a DPW laborer who paid Nemec to submit false time records to conceal the theft of scrap metal.

Commercial hauler Adam Williams Jr. of Randallstown was sentenced to one year in prison on Monday. Larry Lowry of Orchard Beach was sentenced to 30 months in prison for paying bribes to Nemec and other landfill employees.

Ex-DPW laborer Michael T. Bennett, 46, was sentenced to nearly four years in prison and ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution.

Waived fees and thievery by DPW employees cost city nearly $7 million (6/2/15)

Two more haulers plead guilty to bribing DPW workers (11/2/15)

Another former city employee pleads guilty in landfill scandal (11/25/15)

The sentencing of the four men was accompanied by a detailed account of their illegal activities by U.S. Attorney for Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and lead prosecutors Martin J. Clarke and Leo J. Wise.

Some of the highlights of their brief:

• Except for brief time periods and “despite the comings and goings of new scale-house employees and supervisors,” Nemec accepted bribes from commercial haulers for 31 years until his arrest on May 12, 2015.

• Nemec’s role in the bribery scheme expanded after he was promoted in 2006 to a supervisor at the Quarantine Road Landfill in far South Baltimore.

• To maintain the pretense that corrupt waste haulers were actually paying Baltimore City’s $67.50 per ton waste disposal fee, “Nemec and others would hand the truck drivers fake or blank receipts when they crossed the outbound scale,” prosecutors said.

• In return for free dumping, the haulers “either paid a $100 bribe through the outbound window at the scalehouse or met with Nemec or another scalehouse operator at an off-site location to pay a week’s worth of bribes or more.”

• The bribery scheme with commercial haulers cost the city more than $6 million in lost revenue.

• For more than a decade, Nemec falsely represented to DPW that his employees were collecting scrap metal for resale by the city when, in fact, they were collecting the metal “for personal gain during work hours.”

• During 2011 and 2012, Bennett paid Nemec about $20 a day to let him gather and transport stolen scrap metal, such as copper wires, household appliances and car and computer parts.

• Nemec concealed this thievery by submitting false time and attendance records to DPW, “so that Bennett and other laborers were able to be paid for work they did not perform while stealing the metal,” prosecutors said.

• Bennett failed to report $479,468 in income he obtained by selling stolen metal between 2011 and 2013 – an average of about $160,000 a year.

Bennett’s salary as a laborer at DPW’s Solid Waste Division was $28,519 in 2013 and $29,245 in 2014, according to on-line city records.

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