School District Engineer Pleads Guilty To Rigging Bids & Taking Kickbacks

TRENTON – An engineer who oversaw construction projects for three school districts pleaded guilty today to taking thousands of dollars in kickbacks on contracts he recommended that involved rigged bids and fraudulently inflated costs, Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced. Charges are still pending against a suspended business administrator for the Westfield School District and three contractors who were charged along with the engineer in March.

According to Taylor, Kenneth Disko, 48, of Mountainside, pleaded guilty today before Superior Court Judge Joseph P. Donohue in Union County to an accusation charging him with the second-degree offense of making false representations for a government contract. In pleading guilty, Disko admitted that he orchestrated a series of bid-rigging and kickback schemes from 2001 to 2010 as the contracted engineer or engineer/architect on record for the Westfield, Tinton Falls and Scotch Plains-Fanwood school districts.

Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Disko be sentenced to three to five years in state prison. The state will also recommend that he be ordered to pay a penalty of at least $50,000 into the state’s Anti-Trust Revolving Fund for anti-trust enforcement efforts. Disko will be barred from public contracts in New Jersey for 10 years. He must cooperate fully in the ongoing investigation and prosecution by the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau. Deputy Attorney General Vincent J. Militello took the guilty plea.

“School districts and taxpayers can’t afford to pay more for goods and services because corrupt officials such as this defendant inflate contracts and build in kickbacks for their personal enrichment,” said Dow. “We will continue to root out public corruption through this type of investigation and prosecution.”

“Our message is clear,” said Taylor. “We will aggressively prosecute public officials who unlawfully serve themselves at the expense of the taxpayers they are sworn to serve.”

Donohue scheduled sentencing for Disko for Jan. 20.

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