3 Contractors Guilty, Ex-State Official Charged in School Construction Bribery Case

A former Connecticut state representative and director of school construction grants has been indicted after three contractors pleaded guilty to paying him bribes for millions of dollars’ worth of work.

Konstantinos “Kosta” Diamantis, 67, of Farmington has been charged with extortion, bribery, conspiracy, and false statements to federal officers for his role in a conspiracy to award school construction contracts in exchange for bribes, according to Vanessa Roberts Avery, U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut.

Diamantis is a lawyer and served as a state representative from 1992 to 2006. He was the director of Connecticut’s Office of School Constructions Grants and Review (OSCGR) when the crimes allegedly took place. The OSCGR administers grants for all Connecticut public school construction projects seeking state funding.

The three contractors who have pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe Diamantis are as follows:

  • Salvatore Monarca, 53, president of Acranom Masonry in Middlefield.
  • John F. Duffy, 63, vice president of Acranom and Diamantis’ former brother-in-law.
  • Antonietta Roy, 41, owner of Construction Advocacy Professionals (CAP).

The indictment granted by a federal grand jury lays out a scheme by Diamantis to win contracts and settle contract disputes in exchange for money and also a job for his daughter.

FBI agents obtained emails among the parties discussing payments to Diamantis for various services for school construction contracts. Diamantis would also threaten the contractors with removal from projects or being blackballed on future projects if they refused to pay him, according to the indictment.

“I Need That Coin Johnny”

The indictment lays out the following scheme between Diamantis and Acranom:

In 2017, Acranom won a $4 million contract for masonry work for phase two of Weaver High School in Hartford. In 2018, the general contractor complained about Acranom’s work, leading to a months-long dispute. Acranom sought additional compensation from the contractor.

For a fee, Diamantis weighed in to settle the dispute in Acranom’s favor.   

“He’s going to come down on those guys big time. It’s his job and budget,” reads an obtained email between Monarca and Duffy, whose sister is Diamantis’ ex-wife. Duffy refers to Diamantis as “Uncle” in the emails. Diamantis calls Duffy “Johnny.”

In 2020, Diamantis worked out a deal for the city of Hartford to pay Acranom through the contractor $300,000 in compensation.

During the dispute, Diamantis also got Acranom a $3 million contract on phase four of the school. The contractor and others objected to Acranom getting the bid. The program manager said Acranom wasn’t eligible because its dispute on phase two had not been resolved.

Acranom agreed to pay Diamantis to apply pressure on its behalf. Acranom won the contract.

The program manager’s director who had objected to Acranom getting the contract wrote the following email to the city and project team leaders:

“[A]ttempts to convince those with the ‘power of the purse’ at OSCGR that the risks to quality of product and possibly to project schedule outweigh the additional cost of awarding the Phase 4 work to the second lowest bidder, as the ‘lowest qualified, responsive and responsible’ bidder, have been rebuffed.”

In a 2019 email, Diamantis writes to Duffy and Monarca after discussing school projects Acranom wanted to be on:

“… I am very good at what I do and always do what I say. Johnny knows. And I always usually work at 5 percent of total just FYI”

One project Acranom wanted was the Ana Grace Academy of the Arts.

“You know this job Bro????????????????????????//” Duffy emails to Diamantis.

“Of course it’s mine” Diamantis responds.

Acranom got the $4.8 million contract.

In January 2019, Birch Grove Primary School finds cracks in its masonry. A $2.6 million no-bid emergency contract is awarded to Acranom with Diamantis’ help.

The contract amount is later increased to $2.88 million and then again to $2.96 million.

At times, Diamantis got angry with Acranom for not paying his fee on time. He wrote several emails demanding payment and threatening to pull work from them.

“I need that coin Johnny like last month,” read one such email.

In another, he wrote, “I’m not a beggar Johnny I’m your brother uncle call me what you wish. But I’m no beggar and did my part.”

False Statements

On the same emergency Birch Grove school project, Diamantis arranged for Construction Advocacy Professionals (CAP) to win a $70,000 consulting agreement and then a $460,000 agreement, the indictment says.

CAP owner Antonietta Roy agreed to hire Diamantis’ daughter as an independent contractor at $45 an hour, which the indictment called an inflated salary. The daughter worked for the state at $20 an hour and was seeking part-time work.

Roy also made payments to Diamantis in exchange for work, according to the indictment.

In 2019, the New Britain school district sought reimbursement from Diamantis’ agency for construction work performed. Diamantis recommended CAP as a consultant to help get the money. CAP was hired at $115 an hour.

Diamantis also got CAP hired on a $170 million high school and board of education office construction project in Hartford in 2020. CAP won the construction administrator contract even though it wasn’t the low bidder.

In 2021, New Britain High School needed to comply with ADA requirements. CAP got a $63,000 contract and was paid $115 an hour thereafter, which also resulted in CAP payments to Diamantis.

The indictment lists false statements Diamantis allegedly made to FBI agents in 2023:

False Statements Chart 1 False Statements Chart 2

The Charges

A federal grand jury in New Haven returned a 22-count indictment charging Diamantis with extortion, bribery, conspiracy and false statement offenses related to his conduct as director of OSCGR.

The charges are as follows:

  • 2 counts of extortion
  • 2 counts of conspiracy to commit extortion
  • 2 counts of bribery
  • 2 counts of conspiracy to commit bribery
  • 14 counts of making false statements.

Diamantis pleaded not guilty and was released on a $500,000 bond.

Monarca and Duffy both pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe Diamantis to obtain masonry contracts on school construction projects.

Roy pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe Diamantis to obtain business as a construction administrator on school projects.

Monarca and Roy are cooperating with prosecutors, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“This indictment contains allegations of a civil servant who committed multiple felonies, including extorting contractors, demanding and receiving bribes, and repeatedly lying to federal agents investigating his conduct,” said US. Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery.

“The depth of deception, collusion and abuse of power by the defendants in this case, as alleged, is glaring,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Fuller. “The willingness to manipulate contracts and blatantly steal by abusing a position of public trust is intolerable.”

The FBI was joined in the investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan N. Francis and David E. Novick.