Florida Department of Health Supervisor Charged with Accepting Bribe from Home Builders
A Florida Department of Health supervisor in Broward County was charged with accepting a bribe from home builders.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
The one-count Information charges Anthony Johnson, 58, of Tamarac, Florida, with extortion under color of official right, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951. Johnson is scheduled to appear in federal court on Friday, June 17, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Lee Brannon in West Palm Beach, Florida.
According to the Information, Johnson was an Environmental Supervisor at the Broward County office of the Florida Department of Health located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Two individuals were building a home in Southwest Ranches, Florida, and the home builders sought to obtain a series of approvals, including permits for sewage and water from the Florida Department of Health. On or about June 16, 2015, Johnson told one of the home builders that he would take care of the permits, “but you have to give me some money.” On or about June 22, 2015, the home builders met Johnson at a counter in the Broward County office of the Florida Department of Health. Johnson provided the homebuilders with approved permits for sewage and water. Johnson then escorted the home builders to the elevator and entered the elevator with the home builders. While in the elevator, the home builders provided the previously agreed-upon amount of $500 in U.S. currency to Johnson, which defendant Johnson placed in his pocket.
If convicted of the charges in the Information, Johnson faces a possible maximum statutory sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey N. Kaplan.
An Information is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.