Two sentenced in separate bribery, kickback schemes involving Joint Base Charleston construction contracts

Two sentenced in separate bribery, kickback schemes involving Joint Base Charleston construction contracts
A former Kiawah Island official has pleaded guilty to conspiracy. (Source: AP)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Two people have been sentenced in connection with separate bribery and kickback schemes involving federal contracts awarded for construction at Joint Base Charleston.

Joseph Hamrick, 68, of Goose Creek was sentenced to one year in prison with three years of supervised release for his role in receiving kickbacks from federal contracts, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in South Carolina.

The investigation into the case proved public corruption in the contracts at Joint Base Charleston, according to first assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Crick. Hamrick was a quality control officer for a company which was the prime contractor at the base from 2007-14. He demanded the subcontractors pay him to approve their work at the base because he had the authority to approve the work and slow payments down to subcontractors, Crick said.

Barbara Powell, 59, of Charleston was sentenced to 6 months in jail with three years of supervised release, according to Crick. She was a government-contracting officer at the base who awarded construction contracts to private companies on behalf of the federal government. Powell solicited and received bribes from base subcontractors exceeding $15,000 from 2011-15, Crick said. She steered projects toward certain subcontractors and forwarded bid proposals to some subcontractors which paid her bribes.

The FBI and Air Force Special investigations Office investigated the case.

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