New York department of buildings inspector charged with soliciting bribe

A New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) Inspector has been charged with accepting a bribe to turn a blind eye to the violation of a "stop work" order.

Francesco Ginestri, 36, is accused of soliciting a $1,200 cash bribe from a construction firm employee to ensure a $25,000 fine would not be issued by the DOB at a construction site in Flushing, New York.

The site had previously been served with a stop work order for safety violations, but work had continued regardless.

According to the indictment, a meeting between Ginestri and the employee took place in a bakery in August 2020 and was overseen by federal law enforcement agents.

Seth DuCharme, acting US attorney, said: "As alleged, Ginestri, a buildings inspector who was entrusted with protecting public safety at city construction sites, instead exploited his position to line his pockets with a cash bribe.

"This office will vigorously prosecute those who would betray their public trust for personal gain."

Ginestri has been released on a $150,000 bond. He faces a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment if convicted.

Image ©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier

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