Pasonick sentenced to year in prison, $250,000 fine

Author: Dave JanoskiI
Date Published: 03/09/2012

SCRANTON — Wilkes-Barre engineer Michael J. Pasonick was sentenced to one year in prison and a $250,000 fine by a federal judge today for bribing a Luzerne County School director.

Pasonick, who has an extensive history of contracts with local governments and school boards, pleaded guilty to paying the member of a local school board between $1,000 and $5,000 to advance his efforts to secure school district contracts. Federal prosecutors did not identify the school board or the board member prior to Pasonick’s sentencing.

Under federal guidelines, he faced 18 to 24 months but federal prosecutors requested a reduction because of his cooperation in several other prosecutions.

Sentencing Judge Richard Conavoy said Pasonick’s cooperation led to seven or eight other convictions or guilty pleas. WIth the reduction, under the guidelines, Pasonick faced six to 12 months in prison.

Conavoy said he imposed the maximum sentence under the guidelines because Pasonick had shown a pattern of “seeking friendships in the company of public officials, of being kind and generous to them and then bribing them” in order to acquire government contracts for his company.

Pasonick is scheduled to report to the bureau of prisons on April 23.

Pasonick, who pleaded guilty in the case last year, has been implicated in two other government corruption cases.

He testified last year that he paid $2,000 to former Lackawanna County Commissioner Robert Cordaro in an effort to keep engineering contracts with a public sewer authority. Cordaro is serving 11 years in prison on several corruption charges.

Pasonick, 69, has also been identified as the contractor who paid $1,400 to a former board member at the Luzerne County Housing Authority. That payment led to criminal convictions of two members of that board.