Former NY DOT Director jailed for bribery on fed-funded project

| 12/31/2008

The former New York City Department of Transportation’s director was sentenced earlier this month to a year behind bars for accepting an expensive bribe tied to a federally funded bridge project.

Balram “Balu” Chandiramani, the New York City DOT’s former director of movable bridges, was sentenced in early December to serve one year and one day in prison and pay a $12,500 fine and $4,500 in restitution, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.

Chandiramani and a co-defendant, Uday Shah, a New York City DOT assistant civil engineer, were charged with scheming to accept a bribe of $400,000 from a general contracting corporation executive in exchange for influencing the settlement of a multimillion-dollar claim against the city. That claim was tied to the reconstruction of New York’s Third Avenue Bridge, a project funded by the U.S. DOT.

Shah is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

Investigation into the bribery scheme was conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the New York City Department of Investigation.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer