FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – A longtime construction official in the property maintenance department of the city of East Orange, N.J., was arrested this morning in East Orange by special agents of the FBI for allegedly taking a bribe from an East Orange property owner in exchange for his assistance in city government matters, U.S. Attorney Fishman announced.
Kim Davis, 45, of New York and formerly of Newark, is charged by Indictment with one count of conspiring to commit extortion under color of official right; one count of extortion under color of official right – for accepting a $5,000 corrupt cash payment in exchange for official action; and one count of corrupt solicitation or acceptance of a bribe. Davis is expected to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court.
According to the Indictment unsealed today:
Davis is a certified technical assistant to construction officials in the building division of the property maintenance department of the city of East Orange. The building division is responsible for the enforcement of the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code and the approval of all applications for construction, alterations and renovations of buildings within the city.
Davis and an inspector in the code and enforcement division of the property maintenance department – referred to in the Indictment as Coconspirator 1 – conspired in 2007 to accept corrupt cash payments from East Orange property owners and developers in exchange for promises of official action in East Orange government matters related to the construction and development of property. Specifically, Davis accepted a $5,000 bribe from an East Orange property owner in September 2007.
The extortion and conspiracy counts each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the aggregate loss to victims or gain to the defendant. The bribery count carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the aggregate loss to victims or gain to the defendant.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, for the investigation leading to the Indictment.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra L. Moser of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.