United States: Former Oakland building inspector accused of bribery fined $55,000 by ethics commission

The city’s public ethics commission has fined a former city building permit inspector $55,000 over accusations that he violated Oakland’s government ethics act by accepting bribes and misusing his position.

The seven-member commission, which is tasked with investigating and enforcing breaches of the city’s ethics laws, voted unanimously Monday to impose a $5,000 penalty for each of 11 violations it found against Anthony Harbaugh, a former building inspector with the city. The violations include soliciting money from property owners in exchange for a “pass” on certain inspections.

Harbaugh — who denied violating the city law in a public ethics commission hearing in November — became the subject of an investigation when commission investigators started looking into Thomas Espinosa, another former building inspector who is alleged to have taken thousands of dollars in bribes from property owners whose buildings he was inspecting and failed to report to the city that he received large sums in contracting work from people whose properties he was inspecting.

The original full article can be found at eastbaytimes.com


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