Two Dekalb County Public Works Officials Indicted
For Extortion And Bribery
Private Construction Contractor Forced to ‘Pay to Play’
ATLANTA, GA - FIDELIS OGBU, 59, and NEACACHA JOYNER, 40, both of DeKalb County, Georgia, were indicted today on federal charges of extortion and bribery. They are expected to be arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Gerrilyn G. Brill later this week.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “The citizens of DeKalb County are entitled to employees who serve the public, not extort them. We will continue to vigorously prosecute public employees who abuse the public’s trust to line their own pockets.”
Brian D. Lamkin, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “The actions of the defendants, as alleged in this indictment, serve as the core definition of public corruption. Public officials who attempt to personally profit from others who are merely trying to engage the government in otherwise legitimate business will not be tolerated and the FBI will continue its efforts in identifying, investigating, and presenting for prosecution those individuals engaged in such activity.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: OGBU (an Engineering Supervisor) and JOYNER (a Construction Inspector) allegedly exploited their positions with the DeKalb County Department of Public Works to extort money from a private contractor hired to work on a sidewalk construction project. OGBU and JOYNER are charged with executing a “pay to play” scheme, in which they compelled the contractor to pay them off in order for the contractor to complete the project, to avoid unnecessary work delays, and to gain future projects.
On March 6, 2012, a federal grand jury returned separate indictments charging OGBU and JOYNER with extortion and bribery. The most serious of the charges (extortion) carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey W. Davis is prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney's Public Information Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.