Biden’s Transportation Secretary ‘Pothole Pete’ at Center of Massive ‘Pay-to-Play’ Scandal

Biden’s Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, now also nicknamed “Pothole Pete”, is mired in what seems like a major corruption scandal.

A report shows during his time as mayor, he took $250,000 from companies which he then awarded lucrative contracts worth $33 million.

‘Alarming’ Conflict of Interest and ‘Backroom Deals’

A report uncovered during his two terms as mayor of South Bend, between 2012 and 2020, Buttigieg accepted a total of $253,750 in donations and gifts from a total of 23 companies.

After their donations, executives from those companies got awarded infrastructure jobs worth a combined total of $33,280,426 from the city Board of Public Works, on which Buttigieg was also seated.

The report based on exclusively acquired documents is raising serious concerns that Buttigieg ran a huge pay-to-play scheme while being the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

To make the scandal even worse, in two cases, Buttigieg obtained the respective donations on the same day which the companies were awarded lucrative public procurement contracts.

While Biden’s young protégé may or may not be found to have been involved in top-level corruption at the local level, the revelations seem serious enough to raise alarm.

The report quotes David Williams, the president of nonprofit watchdog, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, as saying the pattern of Buttigieg’s donations and city contracts from his time as South Bend mayor appears like a huge conflict of interest.

Williams described the revelations as “very concerning”, even “alarming”, adding they are “the swamp personified.” A lot seems to be wrong with Pothole Pete’s donations and public procurement contracts during his mayoral tenure.

The watchdog insisted the taxpayers deserve to be answered on whether Buttigieg was involved in quid pro quo backroom deals for the respective projects.

$1,500 Donation = $25 Million Contract

Williams also emphasized the likely corruption scandal involving Biden’s Transportation Secretary “doesn’t bode well,” considering Pothole Pete now has access to the allocation of $1.2 trillion of infrastructure funds.

The City of South Bend responded with respect to the revelations that Buttigieg himself wasn’t involved in the allocation of the public works contracts, which were awarded through a “transparent” procedure.

A spokesperson for the Transportation Department of the Biden administration said any suggestion there might be corruption in the institution is “absurd”. The list of Buttigieg’s donors whose companies then got contracts with the city of South Bend is quite long.

In one case referenced above, Marlin Knowles, the co-owner of American Structurepoint, an infrastructure firm, first donated $1,500 to the Buttigieg campaign in 2011.

The following year, company executive Eric Horvath was appointed by Pothole Pete as the head of the city’s Department of Public Works.

Then, in 2013, American Structurepoint got a whopping $25 million contract for a Smart Streets Project in South Bend.

In another case exposed by the report, Greg Henneke, a senior vice president at the same company, donated $31,850 to Buttigieg’s campaigns from January 2014 until March 2019.

During that same period, the company received several city contracts from the Department of Public Works worth a combined total of $790,000.