A Hollywood man used his Miami-Dade County government job to obtain more than $13,000 worth of bribes – including a new stove, refrigerator and air conditioning system for his home, federal authorities said.
George Brown, 50, was released on bond Thursday, two days after his arrest.
Brown, who stands more than 6 feet tall and sports thick dreadlocks that fall to his ankles, said little other than “yes” and “no” during a brief appearance Thursday morning in federal court in Fort Lauderdale. His attorney Michael Entin said he needs to review the evidence in the case before Brown’s arraignment on July 9.
As roadway lighting coordinator for Miami-Dade’s Department of Public Works and Waste Management since 2009, Brown’s job responsibilities include overseeing the installation and maintenance of more than 45,000 street lights in the county.
A confidential informant who began cooperating with the FBI in July 2012 told agents that he had been secretly rewarding Brown for helping him get business with the county since 2011.
The informant, who owns a traffic supplies company, said he told Brown that he would use “reward points” he received from lighting manufacturers to give Brown whatever products he wanted. In exchange, Brown used his influence to ensure that the informant’s company got at least $40,000 worth of contracts, authorities said.
Among the items Brown had delivered to his Hollywood home in 2011 and 2012 were a 2.5-ton air-conditioning unit worth $2,470, a refrigerator that cost $2,348 and an oven and other merchandise worth $4,238, as well as electronics and other items valued at $4,135, agents wrote.
Brown told the informant in 2012 that state officials were investigating allegations he was being bribed, FBI agents wrote. In a secretly recorded meeting in August 2012, Brown discussed ways to hide past and future contacts between them, prosecutors said.
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