A former senior-level Jacksonville Electric Authority engineer pleaded guilty to bribery charges after devising a scheme to sell a contractor construction materials from a city yard for cash. Thomas William Allen was making more than $80,000 a year at JEA before his arrest last fall, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Allen went to the head of a local contracting firm and told him he was in a financial bind since his wife lost her job and offered to sell the materials for $20,000, the newspaper reported. The contractor went to the FBI the very next day and the feds set up recorded phone calls and meetings between the two men. Allen, who was in charge of the electrical part of subdivision development for the city-owned utility, sold more than $63,000 worth of materials for $10,000 cash and an agreement for $10,000 more. The materials were taken to an FBI storage facility. Allen was arrested in Jacksonville shortly thereafter, according to the newspaper report.
Allen faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He quietly pleaded guilty at the end of March and no sentencing date has been set. In a criminal case like this, with recorded evidence stacked against you, sometimes the only choice to plead guilty, own up to the crime and hope your criminal defense attorney can get the judge to see that you have made a horrible mistake you’ll learn from. In this case, Allen had been a JEA engineer for 14 years and was 44 at the time of his arrest. He did not have any prior criminal record, according to the newspaper, and devised this scheme out of financial desperation. That could backfire, with the judge looking at his $80,000 annual salary and saying many families should be so lucky to have that amount of income, and they don’t steal. The facts of the case, though, are what they are and there is really no disputing them.
Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer has represented clients at hundreds of sentencing hearings and knows which arguments will help in certain types of cases, and which could get a client more time than he or she expected. If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm, PA at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Duval County bribery and theft lawyer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week