Beginning this year, and in light of recent arrests of restaurant employees on attempted bribery charges, the city’s Department of Investigations told amNewYork it has stepped up its corruption prevention lectures to health inspectors.
While the city didn’t arrest any restaurant employees for health inspector bribes in 2009, it busted four people in 2010 and one so far in 2011.
Three of the four in 2010 came after the city implemented its new sanitary grading system in July. According to the DOI, a restaurant owner was busted in November for blatantly trying to “buy” an “A” grade.
City employees are required by mayoral executive order to report any kickback offers.
The DOI declined to say how many bribery cases it handles each year and the number of sting operations it conducts, citing confidentiality reasons.
In the November arrest, the manager of the East Manor Buffet in Elmhurst allegedly tried to give an undercover investigator posing as an inspector a $500 “gift.” This was after the restaurant was found to have insects crawling in the bakery section.
Another manager who answered the phone last week said the previous manager no longer works there.