An Adams County jury has found the former owner of Quality Paving guilty on all 23 counts in a government corruption case that was first exposed in a CALL7 Investigation.
The month-long trial came to an end Monday morning with a jury finding Jerry Rhea, 63, guilty on charges of theft, conspiracy to commit theft and trying to influence a public figure.
17th Judicial District Attorney Don Quick told CALL7 after a four week trial, an Adams County jury deliberated for four-and-a-half hours and found Rhea guilty.
It is clear from the verdict that the jurors were convinced the former owner and President of Quality Paving/Resurfacing, Jerry Rhea, was responsible for his part in the fraud involving Adams County taxpayers money, Quick said in a news release.
Rhea, who was the president of the paving company in Adams County, received millions of dollars in no-bid contracts from Adams County Public Works to resurface roads in the northeast suburban area according to testimony.
A CALL7 investigation in 2008 raised questions about the no-bid contracts, apparent gifts and work on county employees' homes provided by Quality Paving.
Those stories sparked an investigation by the Adams County District Attorney and sheriff's office that led to charges against Rhea and six others facing serious charges.
The investigation found allegations of improper and illegal transactions between employees of Adams County Public Works and county road contractors, Quality Paving and Quality Resurfacing, said Krista Flannigan, spokeswoman for Adams County District Attorney's Office.
Over the last three years, the investigation involved the collection and review of more than 80,000 pages of documents, interviews of factual and expert witnesses and detailed examinations of numerous county road construction projects.
A former county employee and former Quality Paving employee have pleaded guilty in the case, and one Quality Paving employee was acquitted.
Denis Coen, the vice-president of Quality Paving and Resurfacing was found guilty of 62 felonies by an Adams County jury.
Lee Asay, the former director of Adams County Public Works, and his deputy, Sam Gomez also charged in the case. Their trials have not been scheduled.
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