Building Official Pleads Guilty to Bribery, Racketeering Charges

A former city housing official pleaded guilty Friday to racketeering conspiracy and bribery charges.

Once an assistant commissioner at HPD, Wendell Walters was arrested in October on racketeering charges. He is accused of taking $600,000 from developers involved in building moderately priced housing overseen by the agency in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.

Prosecutors say Walters steered contracts to the developers in exchange for cash. They say those developers then passed the cost of the kickbacks and bribes on to the city with inflated invoices.

Walters is free on bond and scheduled to be sentenced July 25. Prosecutors say he faces up to 20 years on the racketeering charge and 10 years for bribery.

With the Associated Press