The state Ethics Commission on Monday fined former state highway inspector Thomas Kennedy $6,000 for allegedly soliciting and receiving bribes from an employee of P.A. Landers Co. of Hanover for work on Route 44 in Plymouth.

The state Ethics Commission on Monday fined former state highway inspector Thomas Kennedy $6,000 for allegedly soliciting and receiving bribes from an employee of P.A. Landers Co. of Hanover for work on Route 44 in Plymouth.


The fine is the maximum the agency could assess against Kennedy.


He is accused of accepting bribes from Landers project manager Terry Edwards. The company paid a $10,000 fine, and Edwards paid $5,000.


The commission said Landers delivered asphalt to the job site and Kennedy was responsible for inspecting the loads and signing off on the weight slips given to him by the company's drivers.  Kennedy submitted those weight slips to his MassHighway supervisor.


In June 2002, Kennedy allegedly asked Edwards to reimburse him for a damaged tire on his vehicle and later for gasoline expenses already paid by the state. In return, Kennedy processed paperwork to make sure that Landers received timely payments. On one day, the commission said, he submitted six weight slips for Landers without inspecting the asphalt deliveries.


"Kennedy engaged in the most egregious type of breach of the public trust, exacting a price for the performance of his official duties and using his position to secure from a private contractor personal benefits to which he had no entitlement,” the commission said in its ruling.


Kennedy has 30 days to appeal this decision to the Superior Court.


READ MORE stories about P.A. Landers.