Former Atlantic City license inspector pleads guilty to taking bribes

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TRENTON – A former Atlantic City inspector pleaded guilty Thursday, Aug. 7, to accepting cash bribes from a taxi operator and operators of massage parlors and “stress therapy centers,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced.

Logan F. Holt Jr., 55, of Galloway, pleaded guilty to a second-degree charge of official misconduct before Superior Court Judge Mark H. Sandson in Atlantic County.  Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Holt be sentenced to five years in state prison, including two years and three months of parole ineligibility.  He will be permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey. 

Holt was an inspector with the Atlantic City Department of Licenses and Inspections, Mercantile Department, from 2002 until February 2012.

During the plea hearing Holt admitted that on April 1, 2010, he accepted an $800 cash bribe from a taxi operator, and in return, appeared in municipal court that same day to request that the court dismiss two tickets that had been issued to the taxi operator by another inspector for violations involving the condition of his vehicle. 

The count of the indictment to which Holt pleaded guilty also charged that on May 11, 2010, he accepted a $250 payment from the same taxi operator for allowing his cab to pass its annual city vehicle inspection.

“It’s always a serious crime when an official betrays his duties for a bribe, but it’s even more egregious when it involves ignoring rules that protect public health and safety,” Hoffman said.  “Holt selfishly and callously put his wallet ahead of the public’s safety by allowing taxi operators to skirt requirements regarding the operating condition of their cabs.”

Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice said Holt had the official authority to impose significant fines and repair costs on licensed operators in Atlantic City, but instead he used that power to solicit bribes.

The state’s investigation revealed that, in addition to the incidents to which he pleaded guilty, Holt accepted cash bribes from owners and operators of several “stress therapy” and massage businesses on Atlantic and Pacific avenues in return for refraining from enforcing ordinances and regulations governing the operation of those businesses.

Holt will be sentenced on Nov. 21 before Judge Sandson.

Deputy Attorney General Peter W. Lee, deputy chief of the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau; and Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Gilmore took the guilty plea.  Holt was indicted in November as the result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau and the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau.

The investigation was conducted for the New Jersey State Police by Detective Matthew Peeke, Detective Sgt. 1st Class David Caracciolo, Detective Anthony Carugno, retired Detective John Redkoles and retired Detective Karl Ulbrich.

The investigation began with a referral from the Atlantic City Department of Licenses and Inspections, which allegedly received a complaint that Holt had been soliciting bribes.

To confidentially report corruption, financial crime and other illegal activities call the toll-free Corruption Tipline at 1-866-TIPS-4CJ.  The public also can log onto the division’s webpage at www.njdcj.org to report suspected wrong doing confidentially.

 

 


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