$80,000 in Payoffs: An Engineer Tells His Story

by Virginia Fairweather, Editor; ASCE News, New York, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 1, Pg. 54-55

Document Type: Feature article


A member of ASCE was told that if he wanted public work in a certain area, he would have to pay the County Engineer 25% of the project costs. The engineer decided to pay and has regretted that decision ever since. The article describes the man's exposure, his offering to act as a witness against the County Engineer, the trial in which the official was convicted of extortion, and the member's subsequent hearing by the ASCE's Committee on Professional Conduct and the Board of Direction. The story offers a rare glimpse into the workings of the Committee and the formal procedures for disciplining ASCE members who have violated the Code of Ethics. It also provides readers with a real-life story of the experiences and feelings of an engineer who participated in a kickback scheme.

Subject Headings: Infrastructure | Construction costs | Standards and codes | Ethics

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