Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Los Angeles Fire Department Inspector Pleaded Guilty To Accepting Bribes From Small Nursing Care Facilities

On September 23, 2009, Dennis Martin Archie, a Los Angeles Fire Department inspector, pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe. Mr. Archie was charged in July by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Public Integrity Division with soliciting and accepting bribes from operators of small nursing care facilities run out of private homes in the San Fernando Valley.

According to the felony complaint, Mr. Archie, a career firefighter, had been assigned to the San Fernando Valley as a fire inspector. He worked out of the Van Nuys office and part of his job was to inspect small nursing homes for the elderly that were operated out of private homes. Mr. Archie was charged with accepting or soliciting bribes ranging from $500 to $2,000 from seven victims in 2008 and this year. Prosecutors said some operators paid him in exchange for clearances and some did not. The victims operate homes in Reseda, Northridge, Winnetka, Burbank, Chatsworth and West Hills.

Under the plea, Mr. Archie is facing six months in jail and a $10,000 fine when he returns on October 7 for sentencing in the early disposition court before Judge David Horwitz. In exchange for his plea, the other seven felony counts will be dismissed when he is sentenced.

Attorney Comments: One collateral consequence for the nursing homes that paid the bribes could be a negative effect on their licenses. Where there have been bribes that were later discovered, the health care providers have had trouble with licensing and certification. Providers must understand that paying bribes to federal or state officials are serious offenses. Obtaining a license or certification through a bribe -- even if solicited -- is extremely dangerous. If you are solicited, you should contact an attorney immediately and determine how to proceed.

Any questions or comments should be directed to: tgreen@greenassoc.com. Tracy Green is a principal at Green and Associates in Los Angeles, California. They focus their practice on the representation of licensed professionals, individuals and businesses in civil, business, administrative and criminal proceedings. Their website is: http://www.greenassoc.com/


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