NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - During a meeting Tuesday, it was announced Virginia State Police are now investigating a bribery controversy involving city employees.
Local contractor Andrew Zoby with A.T. Zoby Mechanical is alleged to have bribed two city employees in exchange for his company getting preferential treatment. The bribes are said to have varied between $32,000 and $37,000.
The U.S. Attorney's Office claims Zoby issued bogus invoices covering those costs so Zoby got the money back through a federal program given to Norfolk.
City Manager Marcus Jones called for State Police to investigate the bribery controversy.
"I find it very important to get to the bottom of anything related to criminal activity," Jones said.
Jones said State Police got involved because it appears as though the Federal Government is using the two employees as witnesses. State Police will later determine if the employees should be charged by the state. Only Zoby has been charged and the two workers are only identified as "Person A" and "Person B" in the affidavit.
Jones said Tuesday an internal investigation by the city has also been launched. He said the city wants to know which employees were involved and whether similar cases occurred in other departments. Plans to review procedures, manuals and training are also underway.
"We will also have periodic reviews of all of our master agreements in terms of their consistency and their limits," Jones said. "We are also reviewing the length of contracts as well. We want to make sure we have the right people in the right position as it comes to procurement."
Norfolk's Vice Mayor Anthony Burfoot told WAVY.com he is interested in knowing the city workers' names, but said he understands the investigation is ongoing and details may not be released to the council.
"If there is an ongoing investigation by the federal government, I will respect that, I will respect the investigation," Burfoot said. "There will be a time and place when the department gives us all of the pertinent information."
"I think that we are all very anxious to find out who they are," added Norfolk Councilman Andy Protogyrou. "I think unfortunately, it blemishes the city."
Tuesday morning, a woman was seen taking boxes out of Zoby's store on Azalea Garden Road and employees told WAVY.com they were unaware of the boxes' contents.
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