Norfolk, Va. – Patrick Lambert, a Norfolk supervisor, pleaded guilty to federal fraud on Thursday.
Lambert is the highest-ranking Norfolk employee prosecuted for taking bribes from plumber Andrew Zoby. Zoby himself was the first to plead guilty, followed by a retired city worker named Mike Brown. Lambert however, kept his job with the city even though he was under investigation.
NewsChannel 3 was the first to identify him, and not long after, prosecutors charged him. He and one of his former workers took bribes from Zoby, either straight cash, or free plumbing work, and in turn, they bilked taxpayers. Prosecutors say the loss was around $40,000.
“This is his first significant charge, and it’s a felony,” says defense attorney John Fletcher, “I’m not at liberty to discuss the facts of this case, I am afraid. But he is a good man.”
Lambert’s lawyer says there is an explanation why he took the money, but he wouldn’t say what it was until sentencing in August. But, he said, Lambert is sorry.
“He knows what he did was wrong,” Fletcher says.
Outside of court, Lambert still said nothing.