On Monday, a Division of Highways contractor and a former employee were sentenced for their involvement in a pay-to-play scheme. The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Betsy Steinfeld Jividen. 52-year-old Mark Rudolph Whitt of Winfield, West Virginia was sentenced to three years of probation for wire fraud. He has also been ordered to pay $250,000 in restitution to West Virginia.
In 2009, Mark Rudolph Whitt was serving as the president and owner of Bayliss and Ramey Inc. when the company was awarded a statewide signal maintenance contract. In December of 2016, Whitt admitted he used the contract as a way to funnel construction work to Dennis Corporation. In return, Whitt benefited financially for helping to conceal the illegal transfer of funds from the Division of Highways to Dennis Corporation.
Debarment proceedings are underway to prevent Whitt and his former company from being involved in future State contracts. The investigation also helped the United States recover a quarter of a million dollars that was illegally obtained from Whitt. That money will be returned to the State of West Virginia.
40-year-old James Travis Miller of Hurricane, West Virginia was also sentenced to three-years of probation for laundering money. Miller worked for the Division of Highways. He eventually left to work for Dennis Corporation. In December of 2016, Miller admitted that he had delivered hidden payments to a West Virginia Division of Highways employee for official actions that favored Dennis Corporation.