Palm Beach former construction manager Steve White corruption trials reset for February and May

PALM BEACH, Fla. - Jury trials in the corruption case of Steven M. White, Palm Beach's former construction manager, have been rescheduled for February and May.

Meanwhile, a hearing has been set for Jan. 4 before Palm Beach Circuit Judge Stephen Rapp to consider White's motion seeking dismissal of 24 counts of unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior. The hearing is at 1:30 p.m. at the Palm Beach County Courthouse, in courtroom 11G.

In court papers filed in November, White says he did nothing criminal in accepting monies from a town contractor because he worked for the contractor independently and after hours.

In April 2010, White was arrested on charges that he used his position with the town to award emergency construction contracts and pocketed $250,000 in bribes from contractors between January 2008 and March 2010. The charges followed a five-month police investigation by police and State Attorney Michael McAuliffe's office.

White's attorney, Jan Weiss, has said there's no proof he accepted any unlawful compensation or reward.

White allegedly accepted kickbacks from two companies, Chaz Equipment Co. and Dee Griffin Earthworks. There are two criminal cases pending against White: one associated with Dee Griffin Earthworks and the other with Chaz Equipment. Both had been set for a jury trial on Jan. 30, but were recently rescheduled for Feb. 21 and May 21, respectively, according to Weiss and the State Attorney's Office.

The trial delays are related to the pace of discovery, Weiss said. Discovery is the pre-trial phase in which each party can obtain evidence from the opposing side.

Janis Griffin and Stephen McDonald, both executives of Dee Griffin, have accepted plea agreements. Each received two years of probation after agreeing to testify at trial.

On Tuesday, attorneys for Chaz Equipment Co. filed a lawsuit in Palm Beach County Circuit Court against the town. Chaz Equipment is alleging that the town did not pay it $35,000 for "increased cost" related to rock excavation undertaken as part of a 2009 Royal Poinciana Way sanitary sewer improvement project.

Chaz maintains that the town initially agreed to the "scope and amount" of the change order, but now refuses to pay for it.

The company also alleges that the town has not paid it for final "contract monies" totaling $27,015.

The company also claims the town did not pay for an ordered emergency power generator for the town's E-11 lift station. According to the lawsuit, the town directed Chaz in February 2010 to take possession of the generator after it was ordered because a purchase order had not been executed.

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