September 15, 2011
Hempstead Building Inspector Charged With Taking a Bribe for Phony
Dotson lied to homeowner about violations before taking $150
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen
Rice announced today that a Village of Hempstead building inspector has been arrested
and charged with taking a bribe from a homeowner who thought the payment was
necessary to remedy purported code violations.
Sheila Dotson, 65, of Hempstead was arrested this morning
by DA Investigators and charged with Bribe Receiving in the Third Degree,
Receiving Reward for Official Misconduct, and Official Misconduct. Dotson faces
up to seven years in prison if convicted, and is scheduled to be arraigned
later today in First District Court, Hempstead.
Rice said that on June 6, Dotson, a Village of Hempstead
building inspector who was not scheduled to work that day, went to a private
residence on Burr Avenue and falsely told the homeowner that the village
building department had received a telephone called alleging various building
code violations on the homeowner’s residence.
Dotson then told the homeowner that for $150 she could
remove that address from the violations list. Dotson scheduled a follow-up
meeting with the homeowner and prepared a false inspection report for the
residence. After taking the $150 bribe from the homeowner, Dotson provided a
clean inspection report, despite never actually inspecting the residence.
The case was investigated by the DA’s
Office after a referral from the Village of Hempstead Mayor’s Office.
Dotson’s violation of the public trust comes at a time when everyone is
tightening their belt,” Rice said. “It is outrageous that she would shake down
the people she was entrusted to serve.”
Assistant District Attorney Jed L. Painter of the Public Corruption Bureau
is prosecuting the case for the DA’s Office. Dotson is represented by Anthony