DOT worker admits breaking rules to give friend contracts
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A suspended New Jersey transportation department worker violated departmental rules in order to award contracts to a vendor who had befriended him
Ricardo Noce Jr. pleaded guilty Wednesday to misapplication of entrusted property or property of government. Prosecutors will recommend the 62-year-old Collingswood man receive a three-year state prison term when he’s sentenced May 24.
Noce also will have to forfeit his job and pay $93,059 in restitution.
Noce was responsible for buying equipment and supplies for the DOT’s southern region.
Authorities say that on more than 30 occasions between December 2013 and November 2017, he awarded contracts to his friend despite a rule requiring competitive bidding for purchases over $1,000. Noce structured the orders so each contract was under the threshold.
Authorities say the favored vendor routinely charged much more than other vendors for the same items.