Second DeKalb Public Works employee goes to prison for extortion
6:07 pm, December 19th, 2012
A second engineering supervisor in DeKalb County’s Public Works Department was sentenced today to 15 months in federal prison for extortion, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia announced.
Engineering Supervisor Neacacha Joyner, 40, “abused her position as a DeKalb County public works employee by shaking down a local contractor for payoffs,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
Joyner was indicted by a federal grand jury last March on charges associated with her extortion in 2010 of a contractor as part of a “pay to play” scheme in which she demanded that the contractor pay her a bribe before he would be allowed to complete work on a federally-funded sidewalk construction project without unnecessary work delays and remain eligible for future county projects, federal prosecutors said.
Joyner was the county’s assigned project construction inspector. Federal prosecutors said that in the spring of 2011, she showed up at the sidewalk construction site, halted work on the project and then demanded – and secured – a $2,500 bribe
The contractor notified law enforcement and eventually began working with FBI agents, prosecutors said.
Joyner is the second DeKalb public works supervisor convicted in the pay-to-play scheme. In June, U.S. District Judge Richard Story, who sentenced Joyner, also sent another DeKalb engineering supervisor – Fidelis Ogbu, 60 – to prison for three years for a similar shakedown.
FBI agents arrested Ogbu last year after he demanded that the same contractor also pay him off before he would be allowed to complete a paving job he had secured from the county, federal prosecutors said.
At the direction of the FBI, the director paid Ogbu nearly $20,000 in cash and promised him a third $9,500 bribe before FBI agents arrested him.