Former NYC education inspector sentenced for extortion and bribery

February 12th, 2010 - 4:09 am ICT by BNO News  

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) – Former New York City Department of Education (DOE) inspector was sentenced for extortion and bribery, U.S. Attorney of New York said Thursday.

Milton Smith, 56, of Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania was sentenced to 15 months in prison once he was found guilty after a one-week jury trial in February 2009. He was trialed for conspiracy to commit extortion, conspiracy to commit bribery, and bribery.

Smith worked as an inspector in the DOE Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) where he was assigned to a division responsible for providing bus and other transportation services to special education students.

Several private bus company owners who held transportation contracts with DOE paid Smith, from approximately 2000 to 2004, tens of thousands of dollars in cash payments in order for Smith to create field trip bus routes to certain bus companies, which are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

OPT details bus routes, which private bus companies bid for in order to obtain them. Some of them are considered “extended” and consequently are subject to larger contract payments.

Smith would create several routes that were neither needed by DOE nor performed by the bus companies who paid him. Smith also received money for ignoring safety and mechanical flaws that violated OPT inspection standards.

The judge sentenced Smith, in addition to his prison term, to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $21,500.

Smith is the seventh person to be found guilty in this case after George Ortiz, Neil Cremin and Ira Sokol had pleaded guilty in February 2009. Jeffrey Dunat, Doron Winkler and Geoffrey Berger previously pleaded guilty in April 2008.

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