William Nemec had a few different jobs over the years at the Quarantine Road landfill, but bribes were a constant. Earlier this year, the feds indicted a group of employees and trash haulers at the South Baltimore landfill in a long-running bribery scheme. For Nemec, the supervisor of the operation, the bribes date back 30 years.
According to a plea agreement announced Monday by U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, Nemec and other employees accepted bribes from trash haulers at the landfill’s scale house since 1984, “except for short periods of time over the years.” He copped to the scheme on Monday with a guilty plea in federal court. Now, Nemec has to pay $6 million in restitution, which is the amount of money that the trash companies should have paid the city.
When Nemec was transferred from the Cold Spring Lane landfill to Quarantine Road in 1984, the bribes came with him. Over the years, he pocketed the payouts in place of $67.50-per-ton fees that trash companies are supposed to pay when their trucks enter the landfill. In place of the tonnage, the companies would pay a flat $100 bribe. Sometimes, garbage haulers would pay the cash bribe on the way out. Other times, they would meet with Nemec or another employee offsite to pay up for a given amount of time. Nemec would divvy up the bribes among employees.
For ten years, Nemec also ran a “junking” scheme where employees would sell scrap metal to a private company during work hours. The employees paid Nemec — in the case of two employees, $20 a day for two years — to keep quiet about their dealings, and Nemec would in turn falsify their timesheets.
Along with Nemec, who faces up to five years in jail, former DPW employee Tamara Washington and two commercial haulers pleaded guilty in connection with the rubbish racket, which was uncovered by an FBI investigation that began at least two years ago.
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