Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Petrocelli pleads guilty to bribing Brian
An executive who led what was once one of the country's biggest electrical wiring companies pleaded guilty Friday to making secret payments to a disgraced New York labor boss.
Former Petrocelli Electric chairman and principal owner Santo Petrocelli Sr. told a judge in federal court in Manhattan that he gave bags of cash to Brian McLaughlin to keep peace with his work force.
Mr. McLaughlin, a former state assemblyman and head of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, "asked for it," Mr. Petrocelli said. "He controlled all the labor."
Prosecutors had accused Mr. Petrocelli, of Clark, N.J., of paying thousands of dollars in bribes to Mr. McLaughlin over several years on projects that included a lucrative contract to maintain public street lights. He also admitted to arranging for Mr. McLaughlin to get free use of a company car for two months in 2004.
For years, Petrocelli Electric was New York City's biggest street light contractor, but it was shut out of city work two years ago after city and federal officials began investigating corruption and bid-rigging allegations. The company's offices in Queens were raided by the FBI in 2006.
"Throughout our successful history, Petrocelli Electric has constantly emphasized the qualities unique to American industry; honesty, integrity, innovation and the willingness to work hard for our clients." - the company's website