- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 4, 2016

ATLANTA (AP) - A former Georgia Department of Transportation worker has been sentenced to serve four and a half years in federal prison for accepting bribes.

U.S. Attorney John Horn said in a news release Tuesday that 50-year-old George Bell of Lithonia was also ordered to pay more than $1.5 million in restitution.

Prosecutors say he accepted bribes to allow more than 2,600 truckloads of unsuitable dirt to be dumped in DeKalb County from April to December 2014. That resulted in environmental damage that cost more than $1.5 million to clean up.

Dirt is considered unsuitable when it can’t be built upon in the future. In Bell’s case, the dirt contained construction debris.

Bell oversaw various maintenance projects as an assistant area maintenance foreman for the department.

Bell pleaded guilty in April.

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