Former City Of Plymouth Official Charged In Illegal Bribery And Kickback Scheme
United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker today announced the filing of a felony information charging RONNIE EUGENE TAGGART, 50, for soliciting and receiving bribes and kickbacks in exchange for awarding City of Plymouth contracts.TAGGART will make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court at a later date.
According to the information, from approximately October 2012 through November 2016, TAGGART was the Facilities Supervisor for the City of Plymouth, Minnesota. In his position, TAGGART was responsible for the maintenance of all buildings owned and operated by the City of Plymouth, including the authority to award contracts for City projects such as building maintenance and cleaning, landscaping, and snow removal.
According to the information, from approximately 2014 through November 2016, TAGGART devised a scheme to defraud the City of Plymouth by soliciting and receiving bribes and kickbacks in exchange for awarding City contracts to various contractors outside of the competitive bidding process mandated by Minnesota state law and City of Plymouth procurement policy. TAGGART solicited and received cash kickbacks based on the total value of certain contracts. On other contracts, TAGGART received a flat cash kickback amount from the contractor. TAGGART also solicited and received non-cash bribes from certain City contractors, including items and services for TAGGART’S home, such as thousands of dollars in kitchen appliances, installation of new carpet, a concrete driveway, a garage door, a yard irrigation and sprinkler system, and extensive landscaping and electrical work. All of these items and services were provided to TAGGART at no cost.
According to the information, in order to conceal his failure to comply with the competitive bidding requirements, TAGGART instructed the bribe- and kickback-paying contractors to submit a second, fake quotation to give the false appearance that TAGGART had complied with the state statute and City policy. TAGGART also encouraged the bribe- and kickback-paying contractors to inflate the amount of their bids to cover the cost of the kickbacks and bribes. In total, TAGGART solicited and received bribes and kickbacks worth approximately $58,532.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Joseph H. Thompson is prosecuting the case.
RONNIE EUGENE TAGGART, 50
Golden Valley, Minn.
- Wire fraud, 1 count
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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600
The charges contained in the information are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.