- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Federal authorities have filed bribery charges against a former D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs worker accused of paying off an inspector to reduce thousands of dollars in building code fines.

Yaw Oteng-Agipong faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Mr. Oteng-Agipong, working as a private structural engineer, in September attempted to bribe a D.C. government inspector in connection with a construction project on Fifth Street Northwest, according to charging documents.

Mr. Oteng-Agipong declined to comment when reached by phone.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs said yesterday that Mr. Oteng-Agipong retired in 2005 and hasn’t worked for the city since.

Spokeswoman Linda Argo said agency officials cooperated in the investigation, which she said was handled by the FBI and the D.C. Office of the Inspector General.

“This is, as far as we know, an isolated incident,” Miss Argo said.

Mr. Oteng-Agipong was employed with the District from 1982 to April 2005, when he took voluntary retirement. Before retiring, he was a supervisory structural engineer.

According to charging documents filed Friday in federal court, Mr. Oteng-Agipong offered $2,000 in cash to a city inspector in hopes of lifting a stop-work order on the project because it violated provisions of a building permit.

The inspector also had issued $6,000 in fines, authorities said.

Mr. Oteng-Agipong offered the bribe to “lift the stop work order and reduce the fine,” according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

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