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DeKalb's Public Works Engineering Supervisor Ogbu Pleads Guilty to Extortion

Fidelis Ogbu caught in scheme to extort money from a private contractor who was working with law enforcement officials.

According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Fidelis Ogbu exploited his position as the Engineering Supervisor for DeKalb County's Public Works Department when he "executed a “pay to play” scheme, in which he compelled the contractor to pay him off in order for the contractor to complete the project and to gain future work."

In July, 2011, Ogbu discussed a driveway and sidewalk project on S. Hairston Road in Stone Mountain with the contractor. With an estimate of $1.4 million, Ogbu said he would agree to the project price if the contractor would agree to pay off Ogbu. He instructed the construction company to over-bill the county for a payment of $30,000 to go to Ogbu. The next day, Ogbu told the contractor that the project would be completed by the DeKalb County Roads and Drainage Department unless the contractor agreed to the demand.

"On Aug. 31, 2011, the contractor met with Ogbu in Stone Mountain to pay Ogbu part of the $30,000 demand. During the meeting, the contractor gave Ogbu $9,800." In September, another payment of $8500 was made and on November 4, 2011, he was arrested during another meeting during which a payment was expected.

Ogbu and Neacacha Joyner were charged with bribery and extortion stemming from the sting on March 6, 2012. The maximum sentence for Ogbu's plea of extortion is 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

According to CBS Atlanta, United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, "The citizens of DeKalb County are entitled to employees who serve the public, not extort them. We will continue to vigorously prosecute public employees who abuse the public's trust to line their own pockets."

Viola Davis RN BSN April 05, 2012 at 06:01 PM
We need an independent Inspector General for DeKalb County. We also need the federal agencies to look deeper into our county government operations. Please remember to include the school system.

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