Three former state Transportation Department employees will go to jail for their participation in two separate schemes to extort money from contractors.
A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced Danny Ray Taylor of Stokes to four and a half years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. The former district engineer also must pay $10,800 in restitution to the state DOT.
Two former inspectors who worked under Taylor -- Don Chadwick Fornes of Ayden and Michael J. Delmonte of Washington -- were each
sentenced to 21 months in prison. After that, they must be on supervised release for three years. Fornes and Delmonte also must pay restitution.
The schemes were uncovered when a contractor complained to the DOT that both Taylor and Fornes were trying to get money from her.
Fornes later tape-recorded Delmonte in an incriminating phone conversation as he cooperated with investigators.