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Grand jury issues more subpoenas in L.A. Building and Safety bribery scandal

May 7, 2011 | 11:20 am

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0147e3db4913970b-640wi

Two more employees at the L.A. Department of Building and Safety have been put on leave amid a widening investigation into corruption allegations. The department has received three subpoenas from a federal grand jury, including one seeking personnel records for at least 11 current and former employees.

The news comes after two inspectors were arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes. Both men were put on leave in February after the department received an anonymous tip and were fired this week, city officials said. They were secretly recorded during an FBI sting operation that involved an undercover agent who posed as a contractor working in South Los Angeles.

The city's lawyers revealed that the department is the target of a lawsuit filed by a USC fraternity that claims it faced retaliation after refusing to pay bribes.

"Our investigation has expanded citywide," said William Carter, chief deputy for City Atty. Carmen Trutanich. "We're looking at all aspects of the inspection program."

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--David Zahniser and Abby Sewell

Photo: Inspector allegedly taking bribe. Credit: FBI

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