Ex-FDNY Safety Inspector Sentenced for Taking Bribes

A corrupt FDNY safety inspector was sentenced Wednesday to 2 1/2 years in the slammer for pocketing $61,000 in bribes to help a ring of crooked day-care-center operators run a massive scam on the city.

Carlos Montoya, 54, pleaded guilty earlier this year to falsifying records and overlooking violations at centers run by “The Congregation,” a group of Russian immigrants who soaked taxpayers for more than $1 million by falsely claiming they were caring for needy kids.

Defense lawyer Robert Osuna argued in court that Montoya, 54, only kept $5,000 from the bribes he was paid, and passed along the rest to an unidentified architect who allegedly assisted him in the scheme.

But Manhattan federal Judge Paul Gardephe said “whether he kept the money or chose to give it to someone else is not relevant,” noting the “long history” of city inspectors who have been convicted of taking bribes.

“It must be understood by city employees with inspection responsibilities, that if they betray the public trust, they will go to jail,” Gardephe said.

Montoya, a 20-year FDNY veteran who resigned in disgrace after his guilty plea, admitted making “a bad judgment.”

“I apologize to my colleagues in the Fire Department,” he said.

“We are a brotherhood, and I brought shame to their office and the city of New York, which I served so faithfully for so many years.”

City Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn noted that Montoya was among six city employees convicted of taking payoffs from “the Congregation.”

She said the case, dubbed “Operation Paycare,” “delivers the clear message that the city and its law-enforcement partners will uncover corruption and protect the safety of infants and children in city-administered day care.”

Mastermind and ringleader Liudmila Umarov is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty earlier this year to charges including mail fraud and bribery.

Republished with permission of The New York Post.

Loading