Channel 4’s very well-sourced Jonathan Dienst(the same guy who had last fall’s terror warning story) laid out the story behind the Central Labor Council raid just now, which appears to have focused on Council president Brian McLaughlin and a set of electrical contractors who — Diesnt reports — allegedly conspired with him to rip off the Department of Transportation.
The FBI’s “Operation City Lights,” according to the report (and Dienst had cameras in place at three separate raids) targeted McLaughlin’s district office as well as the Labor Council’s headquarters.
It sounds like an old-time bid-rigging scam: The suggestion is that electrical contractors divvied up neighborhoods, setting “low-bids” in advance, with other contractors deliberately bidding too high on street light contracts. McLaughlin was allegedly compensated with cash, an American Express (AXP) card, and the installation of his alarm system.
McLaughlin, it’s worth noting, came up as an electrical worker.
Also: Another huge black eye for the city’s Department of Transportation.