A Galloway Township man who is a former Atlantic City inspector was sentenced to five years in state prison including two years parole ineligibility for accepting cash bribes from a taxi operator and operators of massage parlors and “stress therapy centers,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced Friday afternoon.
Holt was an inspector with the Atlantic City Department of Licenses and Inspections, Mercantile Department, from 2002 until February 2012.
In pleading guilty, Holt admitted that on April 1, 2010, he accepted an $800 cash bribe from a taxi operator.
In exchange, he appeared in municipal court and requested the dismissal of two tickets that had been issued for violations involving the condition of the operator’s vehicle.
He also admitted that on May 11, 2010, he accepted a $250 payment from the same taxi operator for allowing his cab to pass its annual city vehicle inspection.
“We simply can’t afford to have public officials at any level putting the authority entrusted to them up for sale by taking bribes, particularly when their authority relates to matters of public health and safety, as was the case with this defendant,” Hoffman said. “We will meet such corrupt conduct with stern punishment, including prison time.”
“Bribery involving government employees is a serious crime, and we urge businesses and members of the public to alert us confidentially if any official solicits a bribe from them,” Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice said. “We will aggressively pursue any leads, and we will prosecute corrupt officials to the full extent of the law.”
The state’s investigation revealed that Holt also allegedly accepted cash bribes from owners and operators of several “stress therapy” and massage businesses on Atlantic and Pacific Avenues in return for refraining from enforcing ordinances and regulations governing the operation of those businesses.
The investigation was conducted for the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau by Detective Matthew Peeke, Detective Sgt. 1st Class David Caracciolo, Detective Anthony Carugno, retired Detective John Redkoles and retired Detective Karl Ulbrich.
The investigation began with a referral from the Atlantic City Department of Licenses and Inspections, which allegedly received a complaint that Holt had been soliciting bribes.
Hoffman and Honig noted that the Division of Criminal Justice has established a toll-free Corruption Tipline 1-866-TIPS-4CJfor the public to confidentially report corruption, financial crime and other illegal activities.