Tuesday, April 1, 2008

LI building inspector bribed

Long Island developer admits giving bribes to Smithtown official

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (AP) -- A Long Island developer has pleaded guilty to giving two $5,000 bribes to a Smithtown building inspector.

The Suffolk District Attorney's office says 72-year-old Frank Esposito of Nissequogue bribed building inspector Robert Bonerba in 2003 to expedite the construction of a single family home in Nesconset.

D-A Thomas Spota says Esposito pleaded to one count of bribery in the third degree.

Bonerba was Smithtown's chief building inspector from 1988 until 2006, when he retired.

The D-A says the investigation is continuing, and Esposito is cooperating with prosecutors.

Esposito has been described as an influential background player in Smithtown's Republican party. He helped start the Long Island Commercial Bank, which has since folded, and he was chariman of Suffolk's Off Track Betting Corporation in the 1980s.

Thank God this never happens in NYC.

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