Ex-State Inspector Charged with Bribery
LOS ANGELES — 49-year-old Michell DeGrate formerly worked as a state inspector, during which time she has now been charged with accepting bribes during the time of her employment.
13 counts of bribery were leveled against her on Friday, alleging that she accepted $13,000 in bribes from barbershops and salon owners. In return, she did not report violations to the regulatory board.
DeGrate’s specific job was inspector for the California Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. She would visit various businesses, supposedly to confirm that they were complying with health and safety laws. She also was supposed to be ensuring license requirements.
The suspect is alleged to have demanded payment in exchange for her silence concerning violations. Occasionally, the bribery payments were made monthly.
DeGrade’s bail was set at $325,000. If convicted, she could serve up to 16 years in state prison.