A former Los Angeles building and safety inspector pleaded no contest Monday in a case in which he was charged with bribery, tax evasion and grand theft for accepting at least $22,500 in kickbacks from a contractor.
Joel Dellon, 49, of Sun Valley entered the no-contest plea before Judge David M. Horwitz in Los Angeles Municipal Court to one charge of bribery and one charge of tax evasion. Los Angeles Deputy Dist. Atty. Ken Freeman said Dellon also agreed to pay as much as $20,000 in restitution in exchange for dropping the grand-theft charge and an estimated $5,000 in back taxes and penalties on income from the bribes.
Freeman said Dellon also faces a maximum of five years imprisonment. He is to be sentenced on the two charges Feb. 13.
Dellon was assigned to the city's Fire Safety Unit from Aug. 11, 1986, until he resigned last February after he was threatened with discharge, city records show.
In June, the district attorney's office filed nine felony counts of bribery, one count of grand theft and one count of filing a false income tax return against Dellon. The other charges were dropped as part of the plea bargain agreed to Monday.
According to Freeman, Dellon would tell the owners of buildings he inspected that the buildings needed seismic work, and he would refer them to a contracting firm owned by Hermogenes Icasiano of Los Angeles. Freeman said the owners of the buildings were led to believe that they would get better treatment if they hired Icasiano's firm to do the repair work.
In addition, Dellon received a 10% cut of the fees that Icasiano charged for the work. Icasiano said he paid Dellon $22,500 between August, 1987, and March, 1988.
Freeman said Dellon also would be required to make restitution to a woman who paid him as much as $20,000 for drawing building plans that were never finished. The grand-theft charge resulting from that incident was dropped in return for repayment of the money he received, Freeman said.