TAMPA—U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces that U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara today sentenced Robert L. Williams (68, Winter Haven) to two years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit bribery. He pled guilty to the conspiracy charge in March 2011.
According to court documents, from December 2004 through at least January 2009, the School Board of Polk County administered the activities of the school district, including the construction of schools, through a school superintendent and a number of assistant superintendents. Williams was the assistant superintendent of facilities and operations. He was an influential official in the procedure for awarding school construction contracts, and he was in a position to influence and to make recommendations in that process.
According to the plea agreement, Williams exercised his authority as an agent of the Polk County School Board to benefit alleged conspirators. During the conspiracy, alleged conspirators provided Williams with numerous things of value, including vacation trips, fishing and sporting excursions, airline travel, and construction and remodeling work at Williams’ residence.
This case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Department of Education-Office of Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Monk and Antitrust Trial Attorney Bill Dillon.