Safety inspector arrested in bribe scandal - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Safety inspector arrested in bribe scandal

August 25, 2004

Albany-- A man responsible for making sure Albany buildings are safe is accused taking bribes. Building inspector Jack Jackson is charged with strongarming people into buying their Security systems from a man he was in cahoots with. In return, their buildings would pass inspection. Both men were both arrested this afternoon.

Jack Jackson tried to hide behind his attorney, as he left the Dougherty County Sheriff's Department. The 46 year old Jackson and Security Best owner John Richards were indicted Wednesday moring. Richards was arrested as he bought electronic supplies this afternoon.

City Manager Janice Allen Jackson said "Jackson is accused of steering business owners to an alarm installation and monitoring company in return for payments.'' 

Jackson has been a building inspector for the City of Albany for nine years. Several people complained Jackson tried to strongarm them into buying their security systems from Security Best by telling them if they did, it would speed up their inspection approval.

Assistant Chief District Attorney Dick Hand said "We're hoping as this goes out, that we get more information in, and the development will tell us just exactly what was going on."

The indictment charges that Richards would pay Jackson for each system he sold. Now people in Albany have to worry if unsafe buildings approved for cash. The City Manager said "There may be some follow up administrative investigations to take place, and include taking a look at things of that nature."

Jack Jackson has been suspended without pay from his job in the Planning and Development Department. Richards was being held at the Dougherty County Jail late this afternoon. Jackson could face from one to 20 years in prison.

The District Attorney's office says the investigation is continuing, and other city employees could be involved.

posted at 5:10PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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