CNN report: Firms that broke the law still get stimulus money

The federal stimulus program is funding roadway construction in many Massachusetts towns.

But more than one-half of the companies that have received taxpayer dollars to perform the work have a history of breaking the law.

According to an investigation by Boston University’s New England Center for Investigative Reporting, more than half the companies given stimulus contracts have histories of defrauding taxpayers, CNN reports.

Using funds from the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Massachusetts Highway Division has awarded nearly $54 million in contracts for highway improvements, according to the CNN report.

Saugus, Mass.-based Aggregate Industries Northeast Inc.  — one of the largest producers of aggregate, asphalt and ready-mixed concrete in New England — was awarded two stimulus contracts totaling $8.9 million for roadwork in the state, according to the report.

But CNN reports that the company has a record of misconduct, and six of its former managers pleaded guilty or were convicted of defrauding the government in the “Big Dig” project.