Mechanical Inspector Sentenced For Taking Bribe
Thursday Nov 4th, 2010
On June 9, 2010 Baltimore City Mechanical Inspector Mr. James Rytina, III, was arrested moments after taking $1300.00 in cash from a homeowner in the 1800 block of W. North Avenue. The money was in exchange for Mr. Rytina’s agreement to clear housing code violations at the residence.
The investigation was initiated as a result of information brought to the City’s Office of Inspector General by the Department of Housing and Community Development. An investigative team was brought together that included staff from the Baltimore City State Attorney’s Economic Crimes Section and the Baltimore City Police Department’s Economic Crimes Unit.
Investigation revealed that Mr. Rytina, in his capacity as a Mechanical Inspector, had approached the homeowners over a period of several months regarding plumbing violations. Eventually, Mr. Rytina advised that he would clear any plumbing, furnace, or gas violations for $1300.00. Members of the investigative team arranged to monitor the exchange of funds, which concluded with Mr. Rytina taking the money and directing the homeowner to call him personally when he was ready for an inspection and not to discuss the issue with anyone else. After exiting the residence, Mr. Rytina was placed into custody without incident, and the money was recovered. Mr. Rytina was immediately suspended without pay and is no longer working for the City.
On 11/01/2010 Judge Lynn Stewart sentenced Mr. Rytina to a five-year suspended sentence with five years supervised probation and 500 hours of community service. Additionally, Mr. Rytina agreed that he would not engage in the housing inspection process.
The Office of Inspector General believes that the continued partnership between the Inspector General’s Office, the States Attorney’s Office, and the Baltimore City Police Department is an effective tool in identifying, investigating, and prosecuting those who choose to use their position with the City to engage in criminal activity and defraud the citizens of Baltimore.