MIAMI – A former employee of Miami-Dade County Public Schools has been arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes, the Southern District of the Florida Department of Justice said in a media release.
Andres Barroso, 52, was the former electrical foreman for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and in his position had the authority to order lighting products, including lamps and ballasts, on behalf of the school system, the media release said.
"If the order exceeded $1,000, it was required to be a competitive bid and was awarded to the winning vendor. A co-conspirator owned a company that provided, among other items, lighting products, including lamps and ballasts,” the media release said.
At around the time of 2013, Barroso authorized the purchase of lighting products from the co-conspirator and informed the co-conspirator of the amounts of the bids submitted by other vendors so that the co-conspirator could submit the lowest bid, the release said.
Ultimately, the co-conspirator was awarded more than 70 contracts to provide lighting products to Miami-Dade Public Schools.
Even though the co-conspirator only provided some -- not all -- of the ordered lighting products to the school system, Barroso confirmed that all lighting products were received and submitted the invoice for payment, the release said.
Then the co-conspirator was paid in full for products that allegedly were not actually provided.
Investigators believe this relationship continued until about 2015, and that Barroso accepted approximately $66,166, the release said. He and the co-conspirator allegedly split the money received from Miami-Dade Public Schools.
Barroso was charged with conspiracy to commit bribery in programs receiving federal funds, the release said. If convicted, he will face a statutory maximum term of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.