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Here’s one unorthodox way to get your permits through the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs’ bureaucracy: pay off the people who work there.
Macoumba N’Diaye, who worked as a private “permit expediter,” was accused Friday in a criminal information of giving three DCRA staffers money for permit fast-tracking. Since he’s been charged in a criminal information, N’Diaye will likely plead guilty, although no hearing date has been set.
Ordinarily, according to prosecutors, getting a permit approved by DCRA is “often tedious and time-consuming.” To get around that, N’Diaye allegedly provided the DCRA employees between 2010 and 2013 with payments he purportedly called “lunch money” in amounts that ranged from $20 to $500.
In exchange, according to prosecutors, he would get his permits approved faster than DCRA customers who didn’t provide “lunch money.” N’Diaye is charged with paying a gratuity to a public official.
DCRA spokesman Matt Orlins declined to say whether the employees, who aren’t named in court papers, have been disciplined or still work at the agency.
“DCRA takes any allegation of wrongdoing seriously and works with the relevant authorities to investigate any instances of alleged wrongdoing,” Orlins writes in an email to LL.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery