FBI Bribery Probe of L.A. Building and Safety Inspectors, Supervisors Expands
After two L.A. Building and Safety inspectors pleaded guilty to bribery this month it looks like the FBI is expanding its probe of the city department.
The Los Angeles Times reports today that the FBI wants to look at supervisors who were supposed to police the work of the likes of Hugo Joel Gonzalez and Raoul Joseph Germain, who were busted in an FBI sting for taking cash sight-unseen for construction approvals.
Along with those two, the city has placed two others on leave and is "looking at" 10 other workers as part of its own internal investigation, according to the paper.
A federal grand jury has already asked the city for personnel records on 12 Building and Safety employees and ex-workers such as Gonzalez and Germain.
CSUN Womens Soccer
TicketsThu., Oct. 26, 7:00pm
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Toronto Raptors
TicketsFri., Oct. 27, 7:30pm
UCLA Women's Soccer v California & UCLA Men's Soccer v Washington
TicketsSun., Oct. 29, 1:00pm
South Bay Lakers vs. Northern Arizona Suns
TicketsSun., Oct. 29, 7:00pm
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons
TicketsTue., Oct. 31, 7:30pm
A memo from department chief Robert "Bud" Ovrom to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa obtained by the Times blames the problems, in part, on early retirements that have pared experienced managers who ostensibly could have stopped such bribery in its tracks.
Building and Safety was "not always providing adequate training" to newer managers, he wrote.
An FBI affidavit indicated that bribery was "systemic" for inspectors. Ovrum wrote to the mayor that there are private contractors and land use consultants with "an unusually high working relationship" with some department workers -- and that angle should be probed.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.