A Nassau builder testified Monday that he paid a $700 bribe to the former North Hempstead deputy building commissioner to expedite building plans for the builder's Roslyn Heights home.
Mansour Zarabi testified in the trial of former building inspector Thomas McDonough in exchange for immunity from prosecution for bribery.
McDonough has pleaded not guilty to coercion and bribe receiving charges. Prosecutors said he extorted a $900 campaign contribution from Zarabi in exchange for inspecting and approving a dry well on the same property.
Zarabi told the court that in November 2004 he brought money with him when he went to file his permit application with the building department, because he had been seeing an "explosion" of oversized houses being built in his country club neighborhood and knew that "something had to be going on" for that to happen.
Builder: I paid bribe to N. Hempstead building official