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Former Turnpike CEO To Learn Fate In Corruption Case

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Harold Hayes Harold Hayes
Harold Hayes joined KDKA-TV in August of 1979 as a general assignment...
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HARRISBURG (KDKA) – Six defendants in the Pennsylvania Turnpike corruption case were ordered to stand trial at a preliminary hearing today.

Closing arguments wrapped up Tuesday afternoon, and the decision from the district judge came down a short time later.

Among those who were waiting to hear their fate was former Turnpike Commissioner CEO Joe Brimmeier, from Pittsburgh. He is accused of bid rigging and trading political contributions for turnpike contracts.

But during the five days of testimony, one prosecution witness seemed to support a defense claim. An engineering firm associate testified that not long after her firm was awarded a contract, it was asked for a $12,000 political donation.

And yet, another witness, the former turnpike chief of staff, testified that Brimmeier asked her to modify the strengths and weaknesses of a firm that got a low initial rating to monitor toll lanes – to make the firm look better.

The collective impression painted by prosecutors is a corrupt organization from its then CEO to its then chairman and to former Pennsylvania State Senators like Robert Mellow, who is already in prison after conviction in an unrelated case, and who is a defendant in this case.

Two others in the case have preliminary hearings scheduled for the fall.

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