SACRAMENTO - After a nine-month long investigation by California Department of Justice (DOJ) special agents, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) employee Alex Morales III, 54, has been arrested on bribery charges. Morales allegedly received bribes in the form of money and a vehicle in return for ensuring that Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) contracts were awarded to the person or company providing the bribe.
“Accepting bribes in exchange for awarding public contracts is illegal and corrupt, and violates the public’s trust in government,” said Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Morales is an ADA Statewide Coordinator for Caltrans, a job that involves making Caltrans systems, including bridges and public walkways, ADA compliant. According to the felony complaint, he accepted numerous bribes totaling at least $100,000 over the course of approximately four years. The bribes were presented in monthly cash payments ranging from $1,800 to $12,000, and also through a bribe in the form of a new white Ford sports utility vehicle.
The arrest came after a 9 month-long investigation by the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation, Special Investigation Team. Special agents served 4 search warrants leading up to the arrests, including some at state office buildings. All agencies involved, including Caltrans, fully cooperated with the Attorney General’s investigation.
"Kudos to the special agents who investigated this case," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "Someone accepting bribes for awarding public contracts is not acting in the best interest of the public's safety."