Modified: September 23, 2016 3:14pm
Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. and New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott announce the arraignment of 63-year-old Dean Yerry of Henderson, Nevada before Erie County Court Judge Timothy P. Franczyk on an indictment charging him with one count of Bribe Receiving in the Second Degree and one count of Conspiracy to Prevent Competitive Bidding or Competitive Offering on Public Contracts.
It is alleged that between December 1, 2012 and November 30, 2014, when Yerry was a maintenance supervisor at the University at Buffalo, he conspired to rig the bidding on two painting contracts worth $1 million in exchange for a $100,000 kickback.
Yerry retired from the University at Buffalo in November of 2014 before the charges came to light.
Yerry, who pleaded not guilty, was apprehended at his home in Nevada and extradited by U.S. Marshals back to Buffalo for arraignment. Bail is set at $100,000.
If convicted, Yerry faces a maximum of 5-15 years in prison.
“It was this defendant’s responsibility to ensure that taxpayer funds were spent wisely and properly and that contractors employed by UB were the best for the job. He enriched himself at the expense of the UB community,” says acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. “My office will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners to root out public corruption and theft from taxpayers.”
Acting DA Flaherty commends Inspector General Leahy Scott and her office for their investigative work.
“This defendant succumbed to criminal greed as he used his State position to manipulate the procurement process and give a favored contractor an unfair advantage in exchange for bribes,” said Inspector General Leahy Scott. “He abused his position and he violated the public trust. I will relentlessly pursue anyone who uses their government position to enrich themselves through criminal acts.”
The case is being prosecuted by Public Integrity Unit Bureau Chief Paul E. Bonanno and Assistant District Attorney Gary M. Ertel.
As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.