Sources: Norfolk worker under bribery investigation is a 15-year employee

Posted at 7:36 PM, Mar 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-28 19:40:10-04

Norfolk, Va. - A Norfolk supervisor under federal investigation in a bribery case is a longtime employee and a high-ranking worker at the city's energy plant, according to several sources who spoke to NewsChannel 3.

The sources identified the supervisor as Patrick Lambert. City spokeswoman Lori Crouch confirmed Lambert is an active employee who has worked for the city nearly 16 years. She said he is supervising operating engineer at the city's energy plant near the City Jail. He has not been charged with a crime.

According to multiple sources involved in the investigation, Lambert is the supervisor referred to only as "Person B" in a federal charge filed last week against Norfolk plumber Andrew T. Zoby Jr. Zoby is charged with bribery. Prosecutors say he provided as much as $40,000 in cash and free plumbing work to a pair of city workers in exchange for city jobs.

Zoby has a plumbing contract with the city dating to 2001. Court documents show he bills the city between $200,000 and $600,000 a year. Court records stated that, to make back the money spent on bribes, Zoby then billed Norfolk for fictitious work. He is charged with a felony but has not yet appeared in Norfolk Federal Court.

Sources told NewsChannel 3 the person referred to as "Person A" in the indictment no longer works for the city.

NewsChannel 3 went to Lambert's office at closing time Thursday to ask him to tell his side of the story. We walked with him to his car in the city parking garage, asking him several questions about the bribery investigation. He repeatedly answered "no comment," and drove away in his Ford pickup truck.

In the federal documents, prosecutors say "Person B" owns rental properties in Norfolk, and took free plumbing work at some of those properties. Court and property records show Lambert is a partner is a business that deals in rental properties.

Asked about the case and Lambert's employment status, Crouch declined to comment, saying the city cannot talk about an ongoing federal investigation. Federal prosecutors have not filed any charges against Lambert.


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