City, Town & Village Governments
New York State Government
U.S. Government

District Attorney

Breadcrumb Start you are here >Home/

September 15, 2011

Hempstead Building Inspector Charged With Taking a Bribe for Phony Inspection

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.  

“Sheila 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 Denaro, Esq.