CHICAGO (STMW) – A city plumbing inspector was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison on Friday for taking a $7,000 bribe from a developer to approve work that was not in compliance with city building codes.
Mario Olivella, 43, was a supervisory plumping inspector for the city’s Dept. of Buildings since 1993, a release from the Office of the Inspector General’s office said.
A federal jury found him guilty in January of two counts of bribery and conspiracy for taking bribes to overlook code violations at a building being converted to condos at 1637 W. Granville, the release said. He was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison in addition to two years of supervised release to run at the end of his prison term.
He must also pay a $2,000 fine and a $200 special assessment court cost.
A joint investigation by the inspector general’s office, the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service found Olivella took bribes on at least two occasions.
At trial, Olivella was convicted of taking a $7,000 bribe from a developer to approve plumbing work that was not in compliance with the city building code at the Granville property, the release said.
At sentencing no Friday, Judge Joan Lefkow found that Olivella had accepted a total of more than $50,000 in bribes to overlook plumbing code violations at Granville and other residential properties in the city, the release said.
The sentencing is part of an ongoing federal corruption investigation, code-named “Operation Crooked Code.” To date, there have been 21 people convicted under the operation, fifteen of whom are current of former city employees, the release said.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)