Corruption at The Docks! Turner Construction Exec Admits Extortion

An executive at Turner Construction Co., one of the world’s largest construction companies, has admitted to extorting subcontractors on city-funded waterfront projects into sprucing up his home heating system, according to Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.

George Pauliny, who was a vice president at Turner, asked a subcontractor to install for free a new boiler and a heating system in his driveway, threatening not to include subcontractors as part of the development of Manhattan’s Pier 88 and Brooklyn’s Passenger Ship Terminal in Red Hook, according to Mr. Morgenthau’s office. Mr. Pauliny pleaded guilty to extortion and grand larceny today, for which he will be terminated from his job at Turner (he’s been suspended since last year) and must pay the subcontractors about $10,000 in restitution.

Release below:

            Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau announced today that a construction company executive has pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny by Extortion.  The defendant is GEORGE PAULINY, a Vice-President of Turner Construction, Co, Inc., located at 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York. 

            The investigation leading to today’s plea revealed that PAULINY used his position with Turner Construction, Co., Inc. to threaten to exclude any members of a group of subcontractors Turner used on New York City Economic Development Corporation contracts, if they did not perform private work at PAULINY’S home.  Those EDC contracts included the passenger ship terminal renovation at Pier 88 on the West Side, and the new Passenger Ship Terminal in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

            PAULINY, who was suspended from his employment at Turner in August, 2007, when the investigation became known, admitted today that work, including the installation of a new boiler system and a radiant heating system in PAULINY’S driveway, was performed and not fully or fairly paid for.

            As a result of the plea the defendant will be terminated from his $190,000.00 per year position with Turner, pay restitution of approximately $10,000.00 to those sub-contractors for the work they performed at his home, and will be barred permanently from any future contracting work on any government contracts.

            For their participation in the investigation, Mr. Morgenthau thanked Robert Van Etten, the Inspector General for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and his staff, especially Investigators Jeffrey Schaffler and Fred Ferrone.  Mr. Morgenthau also thanked New York City Department of Investigation, Commissioner Rose Gill-Hearn, and Inspector General Gia Morris.  Mr. Morgenthau also thanked Turner Construction for its assistance in this case.

            The case was handled by Assistant District Attorney Daniel Healy, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Michael Scotto, Chief of the Labor Racketeering Unit-Construction Industry Strike Force.