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Operation Crooked Code


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From the IAPMO E-newsletter:

Operation Crooked Code Busts Chicago Plumbing Inspector

A Chicago plumbing inspector described by the prosecutor as a "major league bribe taker" has been sentenced to 41 months in prison, making him the most recent city employee imprisoned as part of Operation Crooked Code.

Mario Olivella received the sentence Nov. 5 after being convicted in January of two counts of bribery and conspiracy for taking a bribe of about $8,000 - paid in cash in a restaurant parking lot - to overlook plumbing code violations at a condominium.

"Mr. Olivella is in the big leagues. He is a major league bribe taker in the city," Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hotaling said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Prosecutors said Olivella, 42, took more than $50,000 in bribes from expediters and contractors so that he would look the other way when violations were found at residential properties throughout the city.

Judge Joan Lefkow, who handed down the sentence, said she was also aware of a contractor who had taken Olivella to a Chicago Bulls game at the United Center with skybox seats.

"You are upholding the public trust or at least you were supposed to be upholding the public trust," Lefkow told Olivella, the Sun-Times reported.

Operation Crooked Code, a probe being conducted by the federal government and Chicago's inspector general's office, so far has led to charges being brought against 29 people and 21 convictions.

Douglas Hansen

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It's amazing how bad it is.

When Steve Hier went down there last year to talk with the new Buildings Dept. Commissioner, they had some guys in cuffs, and they indicted 21 people. I think they got convictions on all 21.

About 10 years ago, they busted the Dept. trying to hire 15 new building inspectors, the oldest being 21 years and the youngest 19; they were all union stewards sons or nephews.

It's bad.

But, who wants to live in a town where you can't fix a parking ticket?

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The last time I pulled a Chgo. permit, the inspector showed up and wanted the 2 cast iron claw foot tubs we had gutted from the bathrooms. He didn't look at anything past the front doorway. He just wanted those tubs. His son came by with a truck to get them. That's how things get done around here.

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The last time I pulled a Chgo. permit, the inspector showed up and wanted the 2 cast iron claw foot tubs we had gutted from the bathrooms. He didn't look at anything past the front doorway. He just wanted those tubs. His son came by with a truck to get them. That's how things get done around here.

Boils my blood.

Marc

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