Suburban road commissioner charged with taking $280K in kickbacks

The road commissioner in Bloomingdale Township allegedly received kickbacks in exchange for approving hundreds of thousands of dollars in invoices for purported road work, most of which was never performed.

Robert Czernek, 69, allegedly took more than $280,000 in kickbacks from Debra Fazio, owner of Bulldog Earth Movers Inc. in Bloomingdale, as well as from her employee Mario Giannini, federal prosecutors alleged in a court filing Thursday.

Prosecutors say the scheme lasted eight years and led to Bloomingdale Township cutting more than $700,000 in checks to Bulldog Earth Movers.

Czernek allegedly left handwritten notes for Giannini on Bloomingdale Township Highway Department property as part of the scheme.

The charges allege he bought several cars, including a 1981 Corvette and 2014 Lexus RX350, and several pieces of large excavation equipment purchased by BEM during the scheme.