News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

TUESDAY - April 7, 2009

NC-DOT OFFICIAL PLEADS TO EXTORTION CHARGE

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday DALTON RAY ALLIGOOD, JR., a/k/a D.R. Alligood, pled guilty before United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, for extortion under the color of money, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Superseding Criminal Indictment on February 19, 2009.

ALLIGOOD worked as District Engineer in charge of Bridge Maintenance Unit in Pitt and Beaufort Counties for the Transportation Division of the North Carolina Department of Transportation (“NC-DOT”). As District Engineer in charge of Bridge Maintenance, ALLIGOOD supervised 32 state employees and was empowered to enter “fully operational rental” contracts with private companies. ALLIGOOD utilized this power to extort kickbacks from contractors in exchange for contract awards.

In mid-2004, ALLIGOOD began to socialize with one of the owners of an excavation company (“Excavation Company”). In August of 2004, ALLIGOOD provided the Excavation Company with two small “fully operational rental” contracts. In order to ensure additional contracts, the owners of the Excavation Company decided to approach ALLIGOOD and offer him a ten percent kickback on all future contracts. The offer was made and ALLIGOOD accepted the deal and required that the kickbacks be paid in cash.

From this point until December of 2006, ALLIGOOD awarded dozens of contracts to the Excavation Company. The Excavation Company received total payments in excess of $300,000 on such contracts and ALLIGOOD received kickbacks equal to just under $30,000. The kickback scheme came to an end after the arrests of Danny Taylor, Chad Fornes, and Mike Delmonte, three former NC-DOT officials charged with using their official positions to extort cash from contractors, were reported in the paper.

ALLIGOOD faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a penalty of up to $250,000.00.

Mr. Holding commented: “The defendant was an employee of the State of North Carolina and was responsible to perform his duties free of any conflict or improper personal gain. Unfortunately, he set aside those obligations and forgot who he worked for. My office will continue to pursue government officials at all levels who breach the public trust.”

Sentencing is set for the July 6, 2009, term of court.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the State Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation. First Assistant United States Attorney John Stuart Bruce and Assistant United States Attorney Dennis Duffy served as prosecutor for the government

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce

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