Miami Airport Administrator Charged in Massive Bribery Investigation

An administrator at Miami International Airport is facing charges for what is alleged to be a massive scam through his job.

46-year-old Ivan Valdes pled not guilty to four charges, including bribery and bid tampering. Details of the charges are still unknown, but the probe reportedly involved approximately $5 million in bids and bribes.

He faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence in the federal case and additional prison time on the state charges. His attorney declined comment in an email Friday.

State attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle detailed Valdes's alleged scam- working as the project manager to replace light fixtures at the airport.

"They intentionally corrupted the competitive bid system, forcing the airport to purchase light fixtures for twice the actual retail value," Rundle said.

Some 9,000 outdoor light fixtures were bought with tax dollars for about $9 million.

"Of that $9 million, Valdes and his three co-conspirators netted approximately $5.2 million from the scheme," Rundle said

Valdes has worked for their airport for 27 years, working his way up to his current job as the director of the terminal maintenance division – supervising a department of over 100 workers with an annual salary of $98,000.

Airport officials would not say if Valdes has been removed from his job, but would say that no other officials are currently facing charges.

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