Third person in Norfolk bribery case facing federal charges

Posted at 7:05 PM, Apr 19, 2013

Norfolk, Va. - Two weeks ago, NewsChannel 3’s sources identified Patrick Lambert as the Norfolk supervisor under investigation for taking bribes. That was information that even the city council said it didn’t know.

Documents made public today show that the investigation has now led to a federal felony charge.

Patrick Lambert is a former Navy chief and a 16-year Norfolk supervisor. We went to his city office to ask him about the accusations.

NewsChannel 3’s Mike Mather: “Mr. Lambert.”

Patrick Lambert: “Yes sir?”

Mather: “I am Mike Mather with NewsChannel 3. I need to talk to you about…”

Lambert: “No you don`t need to talk to me.”

Mather: “I do need to talk to you about that.”

Norfolk plumber Andrew Zoby has been talking. He pleaded guilty to bribing Lambert and another city supervisor, a man named Mike Brown, now retired. Both their names appear frequently on thousands of work orders obtained exclusively by NewsChannel 3.

Zoby admitted that some of these invoices are frauds. He admits he made back the bribe money by billing too much for work, with the supervisors' knowledge. NewsChannel 3 found several examples in these boxes of Zoby's crews being sent to jobs that just didn't exist. But Zoby submitted bills anyway. There are other examples where seemingly small jobs ended up as big bills.

Outside his city office, Lambert wouldn't say anything about the investigation that will now send him to court.

Mather: “What is your comment on what is going on with the bribery case?”

Lambert: “No comment.”

Mather: “You know you are the one under investigation.  We came here to tell your side of the story. You must have a side of the story to tell.”

Lambert: “I just told you, no comment.”

Plumber Andrew Zoby and retired Norfolk supervisor Mike Brown have both pleaded guilty. They face prison sentences of 10 years.

Patrick Lambert does not yet have a court date scheduled. But if convicted, he faces that same prison time.