A Sunset Park restaurant manager has been arrested for trying to bribe an investigator posing as a health inspector.
Wei Dong, 26, was charged with bribery and other charges after he identified himself as the manager of Funny BBQ Bar (818 54th Street) and offered the undercover agent $300 in cash if he agreed to ignore multiple health code violations, Department of Investigation (DOI) Commissioner Mark Peters and Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth P. Thompson announced today.
The investigation was prompted by a report from a Department of Health (DOH) inspector who was also offered a bribe by an employee at the same restaurant just a month earlier and declined the offer.
“This arrest highlights the importance of city workers recognizing wrongdoing, standing up for integrity, and reporting corruption to DOI for investigation,” said Peters. “This DOH inspector’s actions ensured the health and safety of restaurant goers was protected and deserves to be commended.”
According to DOI’s investigation, on September 2 of last year, a DOH inspector was conducting a routine inspection at Funny BBQ. After pointing out multiple health code violations to a restaurant employee the inspector was offered an unknown amount of cash.
The inspector refused the offer, issued the appropriate violations, and immediately reported the incident to DOI, according to authorities. After receiving the complaint, a DOI undercover investigator went into the restaurant posing as a DOH inspector and observed multiple violations including uncovered garbage cans, mouse droppings and mold in a refrigerator.
The undercover investigator told Dong about the violations, and Dong allegedly responded that he would give the investigator “something” if he didn’t report them, sliding over $300 in cash.
Thompson noted the importance of regular health inspections in the food service industry.
“Honest restaurant inspections are critical to keeping all New Yorkers safe from poorly handled food or vermin infested restaurants. I commend the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and DOI for their work in this case,” he said.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified the neighborhood of Funny BBQ as Borough Park.