Bribes cost ex-Lakewood official 3 years in prison
A onetime Lakewood electrical code inspector who took bribes from contractors, and went easy on them in return, heads to prison for three years, and his career in public employment in New Jersey is over.
Mitchell B. Perkins, 68, of Stafford Township, was sentenced in a Trenton courtroom for his December 5 guilty plea, according to the office of New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino's office.
A spokesman for the AG's office said that Perkins has not accrued any time served since his September 2015 arrest.
The charge, a second-degree count of conspiracy to commit bribery, is contained in a June 2016 indictment.
Perkins, who also served as a township sub-code official, retired from his position after his arrest. Detectives compiled information linking Perkins to payoffs dating back to 1997.
Investigators in the New Jersey State Police and Division of Criminal Justice corruption bureaus began looking into Perkins's activities after receiving tips from contractors, alleging that he offered preferential treatment for scheduling and conducting of inspections. Prosecutors said that in one instance, he approved work without inspecting it at all.
According to authorities, Perkins took four individual $300 payments from an electrical contractor, whose work sites endured inordinate inspection delays, between May and September 2015. The contractor was a cooperating witness for state police.
Perkins returned the first payment, kept the other three, accelerated the contractor's inspectors schedule, and bypassed one inspection entirely, investigators said.
Reports, or suspicions, of corrupt activity or financial crimes can be submitted through the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice web page, or at 1-866-TIPS-4CJ.