A Smithtown developer pleaded guilty to a felony bribery charge yesterday - the second person to admit guilt and agree to cooperate in a widening building department corruption probe that has rocked town government.
Robert Fitzpatrick, 55, of Bayport, pleaded guilty to third-degree bribery before Suffolk County Court Judge Martin Efman. He was released on his own recognizance until his sentencing on July 14.
As part of a plea deal, Fitzpatrick faces a reduced maximum sentence of 1 to 3 years in prison, or as little as no jail time at all.
Prosecutor Kevin Ward said Fitzpatrick admitted to offering a $5,000 bribe to then-chief building inspector Robert Bonerba in March 2003 in connection with a house being built by Smithtown developer Frank Esposito.
Ward said Fitzpatrick lied on building permits for the developer's house to save money on permit fees and avoid a higher tax liability.
Smithtown developer pleads guilty in bribery case