Father, son admit trying to bribe MDOT official

Published 9:12 pm Monday, July 11, 2011

A father and son from Laurel have admitted trying to bribe Mississippi’s former transportation director with kickbacks on state contracts.

Kenneth Biglane, 67, and Peter J. Biglane, 40, pleaded guilty Friday to bribery and will be sentenced Sept. 30, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Jackson said. U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate could sentence each to as much as 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

They had been scheduled for trial Monday but agreed to plead guilty June 29, court records show.

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According to a news release, Kenneth Biglane showed up on May 31, 2009 — a Sunday — at the Natchez home of Larry “Butch” Brown, then executive director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation, offering 25 percent kickbacks on all right-of-way contracts to his son’s company, OxPatch Resources LLC.

Brown told Biglane to leave and called the FBI the next day, the news release said.

“Instead of abusing the public’s trust … he brought this scheme to the attention of the FBI,” said Daniel McMullen, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Jackson office.

After a series of recorded phone conversations between Brown and Kenneth Biglane, the news release said, Kenneth Biglane showed up unannounced at Brown’s office on Aug. 12, 2009, with $10,000.

It said agents found that Biglane had withdrawn half the money from his personal bank account, and Peter Biglane had withdrawn the rest from the business account for OxPatch, a land acquisition and title research company.