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MHS Athletic Director, Two Others, Plead Guilty To Bid Rigging

MHS Athletic Director, Two Others, Plead Guilty To Bid Rigging

Photo: WINA

The athletic director at Monticello High School and two other defendants have pleaded guilty to rigging bids on athletic apparel. 50-year-old Mustangs AD Fitzgerald Barnes (pictured) of Louisa County and two businessmen entered guilty pleas Friday in Charlottesville federal court. Also pleading guilty were the vice-president of the Downtown Athletic Store, 54-year-old David M. Deane of Keswick, and the vice president of sales for a sports apparel retailer in Maryland called Team Distributor, 48-year-old Charles Albert Phillips of Annapolis. Federal prosecutors say they were involved in a scheme to fix bids on athletic wear bought for Monticello High School. They pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor count of embezzlement. Prosecutor Tim Heaphy says the three created price bids that were used as the basis for contracts involving the sale of athletic equipment and apparel from Downtown Athletic to Monticello High School. Heaphy says that happened between August 2008 and August 2010. Albemarle County policy requires a bid from three different vendors when entering into contracts with private companies for goods and services which cost more than $1000. Heaphy says over the course of several years, Barnes directed Deane to submit to Monticello High School the three required bids: one from Downtown Athletic and two others from fictitious retailers. That ensured Downtown Athletic would be awarded the contract. Heaphy says on several occasions, Deane had Phillips submit false bids to Monticello High School that were higher than the bid submitted by Downtown Athletic Store. After receiving the two false and one authentic bid, Barnes awarded multiple contracts for the sale of athletic apparel and equipment to Deane and Downtown Athletic. Barnes was ordered to pay a $750 fine, Phillips was ordered to pay a $350 fine, and Deane was ordered to pay a $1500 fine. Barnes is also the Viec-Chairman of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors.

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