May 22, 2014

Former Miami-Dade Department of Public Works Employee Pleads Guilty to Accepting $150,000 in Bribes from Contractor

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announce that Garfield Perry, 67, of North Miami Beach, pled guilty to a one-count information charging him with conspiring to accept bribes in connection with programs receiving federal funds and to commit extortion, all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. Sentencing is scheduled for July 29, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga.

According to the stipulated statement of facts executed by the parties, from at least 2002 through 2009, Perry was the roadway lighting coordinator for the Department of Public Works in Miami-Dade County. In this capacity, Perry was responsible for, among other things, overseeing the maintenance of more than 22,000 street lights in the county’s roadway system. The information charges that from 2006 through October 2009, Perry accepted bribe payments from a manufacturer’s representative totaling approximately $150,000. Perry regularly directed the manufacturer’s representative to make the bribe payments by paying down debts owed by Perry, including payments on two home mortgages, one car loan, two home insurance policies, two car insurance policies, and eight credit cards. Perry accepted as bribe payments from the manufacturer’s representative cruise vacations, domestic and international airline tickets, payments for hotels, and theatre tickets. Perry regularly directed the manufacturer’s representative to make bribe payments by issuing checks payable to third parties, and, after the checks were cashed, determined the manner in which the proceeds were to be split. Perry falsely certified to Miami-Dade County that he was not engaged in any outside employment and did not receive any gratuities. In return for the bribe payments, Perry helped to ensure that lighting products used in Public Works’ projects were represented by the manufacturer’s representative.

At sentencing, Perry faces a possible maximum statutory sentence of up to five years in prison.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey N. Kaplan.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at