By WDSU Digital Team | WDSU | April 19, 2021
NEW ORLEANS —
A Kenner man and a Covington man have been federally indicted and accused of taking bribe money in return for fraudulent permits for HVAC jobs in both Kenner and New Orleans.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today that James Mohamad, 52, of Kenner, and Brian Medus, 44, of Covington, were charged in a one-count indictment by a federal grand jury on Monday.
According to the indictment, Medus, the assistant chief mechanical inspector for the City of New Orleans, Safety and Permits Department, solicited and accepted bribe money from Mohamad, the director of the Department of Inspection and Code Enforcement for the City of Kenner, in return for the issuance of fraudulent permits for Mohamad’s HVAC jobs.
The indictment alleges that Mohamad paid Medus and others $93,000 to further the bribery scheme.
According to the indictment, Medus utilized the City of New Orleans’ internet-based LAMA system, a facility of interstate commerce, to further the scheme.
If convicted, Medus and Mohamad face a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, a fine of not more than $250,000, three years supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and a $100 special assessment fee, according to the Department of Justice.
“Public corruption occurs when anyone who works for the government, whether at the federal, state, or local level, conducts an official act in exchange for money, goods, or services. It also includes public employees who take something of value for their own personal gain. Mr. Mohamad and Mr. Medus both allegedly engaged in these bribery schemes thereby violating the public’s trust”, stated Bryan Vorndran, FBI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge in an issued statement. “I would like to thank the City of New Orleans Office of the Inspector General, the Metropolitan Crime Commission, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their partnerships in helping the FBI disrupt public corruption in Louisiana.”
Ed Michel, interim inspector general, City of New Orleans, stated “The New Orleans OIG will continue to ensure employees who utilize their public office for personal gain are held accountable for their actions.”