Charges were announced by Robert J. Shields, Jr., Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the FBI, yesterday, of an assistant engineer for the Forest Preserve District for allegedly taking a $10,000 kickback from two contracts.
Joseph Mollica, 52, of Elmwood Park, was arrested on October 3, 2013. He had worked for the Forest Preserve District for more than 20 years. The indictment and complaint allege that on October 14, 2011, Mollica accepted a $6,000 kickback from a $24,900 contract to refinish and refurbish the Forest Preserve District’s headquarters building, where he worked, located at 536 N. Harlem Ave. in River Forest. On December 16, 2011, he allegedly accepted a $4,000 kickback from a $16,500 contract to power wash and stain the building and boardwalk and do caulking at the Sand Ridge Nature Center in Calumet City.
The arrangement and kickback payments were recorded by a construction company owner, who was cooperating with the FBI. Mollica had authority to influence and award contracts for work under $25,000, he obtained his kickback payments after the Forest Preserve District paid the cooperating individual for work that was done.
Joseph Mollica was indicted on two counts of federal bribery, if found guilty he could receive a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on each count and a $250,000 fine.