Authorities: Anti-trust case involved Ohio agency

AMANDA LEE MYERS Associated Press Published:

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Ohio authorities are announcing guilty pleas in what they say are the first criminal antitrust charges in the state in nearly 30 years.

In a news release Tuesday, the state inspector general's office said the case involves Ohio Department of Transportation employees and equipment suppliers who conspired to illegally control bidding processes "to the detriment of Ohio taxpayers."

Ohio Inspector General Randall Meyer and Attorney General Mike DeWine planned an afternoon news conference to release more details about the case in Cincinnati.

The investigation began in 2008. As a result, authorities say officials at two companies pleaded guilty to multiple charges on Tuesday. They also say three transportation employees have been fired, one was suspended and one retired as a result.