CHICAGO (STMW) — Chicago building inspector Roberto Uribe just wanted “some appreciation” from a local property owner, the feds say.
“And that appreciation is gonna be $300,” Uribe allegedly told the owner. “Now how quickly can you get me my money?”
Uribe, 55, was arrested by federal authorities Tuesday morning and charged with attempted extortion. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan with his “City of Chicago Inspector” shirt turned inside out. The judge ordered Uribe released on bond.
John L. Sullivan, Uribe’s court-appointed lawyer, declined to comment after the hearing. But earlier, Sullivan acknowledged to the judge that his client was employed.
“I do not anticipate he will have that same job come Monday,” Sullivan told the judge.
The feds claim Uribe, a building/construction inspector, demanded $300 in November from the owner of a two-story building in exchange for allowing renovation work there without a permit. The feds say Uribe initially approached workers doing the renovation and asked if they had a permit to work on the front window facade. They put Uribe in touch with the building owner, according to prosecutors.
However, the unidentified building owner was cooperating with the feds. Uribe initially told the owner in an unrecorded phone conversation that, “This being the city of Chicago, this can be worked out.” Later, the owner secretly recorded Uribe.
“What’s going to happen is, if we put a stop on it, it’s going to stop you for six months, seven months,” Uribe allegedly said. “. . . So now, what’s happening now is you’re gonna give me some appreciation, and you’re gonna hurry up and get this done. And that appreciation is gonna be $300. Now how quickly can you get me my money to keep my mouth shut?”
Uribe allegedly said the bribe would save money and benefit them both.
“This here will stop you for six months and it’ll cost you starting at $3,500 for an architect and plans,” Uribe allegedly said. “You know that. I’m looking out for you, we’re looking out for each other.”
Uribe allegedly accepted the money on Nov. 12, telling the building owner for the record that, “You’re purchasing my DeWalt, Delta table saw.”
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2016. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)