Manatee County Inspectors Took Gifts From Builders….
Many of the residents in Willowbrook have long questioned if the Manatee County Building Department was corrupt or just plain incompetent. We were doing some research the other day and ran into the below article that really had us thinking…. Rather than making assumptions, It would be amazing if someone took the time to further investigate which inspectors were in Willowbrook during the time our homes were constructed and whether any bribes, gifts, or kickbacks were taken by the crew in our neighborhood. (Hint to: Florida Attorney Generals Office)
Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 2:42 p.m.
MANATEE COUNTY — County building department employee John Darley, who claimed builders routinely gave gifts to inspectors, has been fired for violating county ethics policies.
The allegations by Darley, a five-year employee of the department, were made in a signed affidavit and triggered two independent investigations of the department.
Darley’s firing was made effective Tuesday in a certified letter signed by the department’s interim director John Barnott. He has been on unpaid leave since mid-December.
Barnott told Darley that his firing is based primarily on three factors — Darley’s admission that he took gifts from builders; that he failed to report that others had done the same; and that he refused to cooperate with the county’s ongoing investigations into the claims Darley made in his affidavit.
County auditors and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation are each looking into Darley’s claims. Officials say those reviews may not be complete for more than a month.
Darley made the claims to help out Michael Todoroff, a former building inspector who faced charges of stealing construction materials from a job site in April.
Charges against Todoroff were dropped after Darley submitted his affidavit last month.
“Sadly, had you chosen to be honest at an earlier point in time rather than waiting to be honest only when it would aid a co-worker avoid prosecution, perhaps you would not be in the position you are now in,” Barnott’s letter to Darley states.