The elected head of the Bloomingdale Township highway commission has been charged in federal court in Chicago with taking $280,000 in kickbacks from the owner of an excavation company in exchange for approving road contracts for road work that in most cases was never performed.
Robert Czernek was charged in a 20-count indictment made public Thursday with taking the kickbacks from Debra Fazio, owner of Bloomingdale-based Bulldog Earth Movers Inc., over a period of more than eight years.
In exchange, Czernek used his official position to approve more than $700,000 in payments for stone delivery, dump leveling, and storm sewer invoices submitted by Fazio’s company to Bloomingdale Township, according to the indictment.
Czernek approved the invoices knowing that much of the work and services had not actually been performed, the indictment states.
Czernek allegedly left handwritten notes for Giannini on Bloomingdale Township Highway Department property as part of the scheme.
The 20-count indictment charges Czernek, Fazio and Giannini with 14 counts of honest services wire fraud. Fazio is also charged with six counts of money laundering. Arraignments for the trio have not been scheduled.
Federal authorities in January sought various records from the Bloomingdale Township Highway Department, including its surveillance systems, Czernek’s desk calendar and “any handwritten notes describing construction, excavation and/or road work purportedly performed.”
The indictment is here.