Public employees in Amarillo, Texas, have been wondering why the name of their new traffic engineer, Jihad El Eid, is being brought up in relation to the FBI raid on Southeast Underground Utilities in Plantation last week.
It's likely because El Eid -- Broward County's former traffic engineering department director -- has been named as a "person of interest" in the FBI investigation and may be linked to an impending lawsuit against Southeast Underground Utilities currently being drafted by Broward County attorneys, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
Now what started as an anonymous letter is turning into a serious investigation that likely includes El Eid's former dealings in Broward County.
El Eid hasn't been charged with any crime, but the scathing anonymous letter -- sent in 2009 -- describes quite a bit of "preferential treatment" El Eid allegedly received from Southeast Underground Utilities.
Broward County Chief Trial Counsel Mike Kerr told the Sun-Sentinel the impending lawsuit against Southeast alleges a "county contract that morphed from a maximum $6.6 million to a maximum $21 million." That anonymous letter suggests El Eid may have been helpful to that cause.
It alleges that as Broward County Traffic Engineering Department employees, El Eid and another man -- whose name is deleted -- were conspiring with Southeast "to make all the red tape go away on all BCTE projects Southeast is awarded."
The letter also alleges some lavish spending, insinuating that El Eid was being bribed to continue his dealings with Southeast.
Again, none of that has been proven or formally alleged, but it's apparently ruffled some feathers in various arms of law enforcement.
Back in Amarillo, city officials are wondering how El Eid managed to get the job at that city's traffic engineering department for $95,000 per year.
Amarillo Globe-News reports the Amarillo city manager is trying to figure out how El Eid got past the four-member committee who supposedly looked into his background and work history.
The paper reports that on his application to work in Amarillo, El Eid used the term "change of administration" as his reason for leaving Broward, instead of letting them know he'd been fired.
Then again, the paper called multiple managers within Broward, and none of them said they'd gotten calls from Amarillo during El Eid's hiring process.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
As usual, the FBI won't discuss ongoing investigations, so it's unknown what actions -- if any -- will be taken in relation to El Eid.