Local News

Feds allege Wayne County bid-rigging scheme

Posted August 30, 2011 5:14 p.m. EDT

— A federal grand jury has indicted five people in an alleged bid-rigging scheme at Wayne County Public Schools and the Goldsboro Housing Authority, officials said Tuesday.

Danny Lee Langley, the school district's former maintenance director, and Earl Wayne Rhodes, his former assistant, are charged with conspiracy to commit bribery.

The indictment alleges that Langley, 54, of Snow Hill, and Rhodes, 58, of Pikeville, helped All-American Roofing and Construction Inc., a Johnston County roofing contractor, to win bids for various school roofing projects between 2002 and 2009. All-American Roofing would then give the men kickbacks for steering work its way, according to the indictment.

Company owner Pamela Carol Turner, 45, of Selma, has pleaded guilty to structuring deposits to evade bank reporting requirements. Her associate, David Lee Tedder, 50, of Selma, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.

All-American Roofing also won four contracts at the Goldsboro Housing Authority, and a former official with that agency also has been indicted in the alleged scheme. Jimmie Lewis Farmer, 59, of Goldsboro, is charged with obstruction of justice and making a false statement to a federal agent.

The indictment alleges that Farmer created and back-dated bid documentation regarding the roofing contracts, which had been subpoenaed by the grand jury. He is accused of then lying to a federal agent about the authenticity of the documents.

"Competitive bidding is necessary for government to get quality work for the best price. When individuals rig bids, it not only prevents other capable individuals and companies to capitalize on their skills and abilities, (it also) as in this case, wastes taxpayer money,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker said in a statement.

The charges against Turner and Farmer carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, while Langley, Rhodes and Tedder face up to five years in prison, if convicted.