FBI Expands Corruption Investigation Into LA Department of Building and Safety

The FBI has expanded its investigation into bribery allegations at the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety.

NBC LA broke the story in April about two building inspectors who were arrested for allegedly taking bribes to sign off on building permits without inspection. 

In a new development leaked Tuesday, the FBI has expanded its probe beyond the inspectors to include the supervisors who policed their work, according to a confidential memo sent from the agency's top executive. The LA Times published a story Tuesday about the contents of the memo sent from the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety General Manager Robert Ovrom to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

In the memo, the department manager said federal agents are now including supervisors in their bribery investigation. The report states the memo was sent by mistake to hundreds of Department of Building and Safety employees.

The May 10 memo stated FBI agents want to take their bribery investigation "as wide and as high as they can." Because supervisors are now included in the probe, city officials expect to determine if "illegal collaboration or poor supervisory skills" contributed to the misconduct.

Two field inspectors pleaded guilty to charges that they accepted bribes in exchange for building approvals. The memo claims that two other employees were placed on administrative leave as a result of the city's investigation.

In addition to the four employees who were either arrested or placed on leave, there are 10 additional Building and Safety workers now under investigation, according to the Times' report.

The federal grand jury investigating the case has already requested personnel records for 12 current and former employees. 

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