A Columbia Parks & Recreation Department employee has pleaded guilty to taking kickbacks from contractors working on city projects.
The State newspaper of Columbia reports Friday 35-year-old Damon McDuffie admitted in court December 16 that he took $10,000 in kickbacks from a contractor from 2006 through 2010 for different city projects– including refurbishing a bridge at Riverfront Park.
Prosecutors say the contractor eventually went to federal officials. The unidentified contractor also recorded a phone conversation in which McDuffie admitted to the extortion plan.
McDuffie was hired by the city in 2003 despite his previous criminal record that included 13 fraudulent check charges. Police say he was on probation when he was hired.
According to the report, he has agreed to a 15-month sentence. Prosecutors say McDuffie has also agreed to repay the city $10,000 in restitution.
McDuffie’s attorney would not discuss the case.