Suspended Sentence for Former MassDOT Worcester Director in Procurement Fraud Case

Snow removal trucks in Weston, MA.
Snow removal trucks in Weston, MA.
AP/Steven Senne

The former director of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Worcester office was found guilty on Wednesday of awarding state snow removal contracts to which he was financially linked. Thomas Waruzila, 62, of Worcester, was sentenced to two years in a state House of Correction, which Judge Daniel Wrenn suspended for three years. He’ll have to wear a GPS device for the first year of that suspended sentence, according to the Attorney General’s office.

Warizula was charged with two counts of conflict of interest and three counts of procurement fraud.

“This defendant was convicted by a jury for exploiting his position within MassDOT by scheming to illegally award contracts based on his own financial interests,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a press release. “He undermined the integrity of the process that ensures that contracts are awarded fairly to those who best meet the criteria of review.”

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The AG’s office says Waruzila and three other people obtained snow and ice removal trucks under a false name, and Waruzila awarded contracts for his equipment in the 2010-2011 winter season. He and the other defendants were arrested in connection with the operation in 2011.

Warizula was sentenced today after a nine-day trial and, according to the AG’s office, could lose his state pension.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Waruzila would spend two years in prison followed by a three-year suspension, and would have to pay a $10,000 fine. This was the Commonwealth’s recommendation, not the final sentencing.