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Contractor charged with bribing ex-Portland parking manager

By STEVEN DUBOIS
Of the Associated Press

PORTLAND — A Florida supplier has been indicted on charges he bribed Portland's former parking manager to win contracts for the city's smart meter program.

George R. Levey, 58, of Tarpon Springs, Florida, was charged with honest services wire fraud, said Billy Williams, acting U.S. attorney for Oregon. The criminal information from 2014, unsealed Thursday, alleges he bribed Ellis McCoy from 2002 through 2011 with vacation trips and $56,675 in phony consulting fees to a firm McCoy established to collect payments.

Moreover, Levey allegedly promised to pay McCoy $137,100 when his city employment ended — $100 for each smart parking meter installed by Levey's company in Portland, Hood River and three cities in Washington state.

Levey also allegedly bribed McCoy to speak favorably about Levey's company to other citiaes interested in buying smart parking meters.

“The citizens of every city in Oregon are entitled to honesty and transparency every time public money is spent,” Williams said in a statement. “The bribing of public officials involved in contracting corrupts the contracting process, harms honest contractors and citizens, and diminishes public trust in local government.”

Levey's attorney, David Zornow, declined comment Friday.

Levey, who remains out of custody, was an executive with Schlumberger Industries before becoming owner and president of Cale Parking Systems. He is to make his first appearance in federal court in Portland on April 29. His lawyer told The Oregonian he had no comment.

McCoy pleaded guilty more than two years ago to accepting bribes. He is scheduled to be sentenced for May 27.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Uram said in court documents that McCoy advised Levey how to draft contract proposals to Portland, disclosed internal deliberations of the City Council and testified in favor of awarding contracts to Levey's companies.

McCoy persuaded the city in 2010 to increase a contract for the city's smart meter program from about $4.4 million to more than $20 million, without competitive bids.

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