SACRAMENTO – One June 22, 2018 California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the arrest of Richard Fazlollahi, a district manager with the California Department of Industrial Relations - Division of Occupational Safety & Health (Cal/OSHA), on bribery charges. Fazlollahi is alleged to have requested, and agreed to receive, a bribe from a construction company in exchange for reducing penalties the company was facing for workplace safety violations.
“Individuals abusing their positions in government for personal gain violate the trust of the people of California,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Accepting bribes is illegal and corrupt. The Department of Justice stands vigilant and will vigorously prosecute abuse and corruption at every opportunity."
Fazlollahi's arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Investigation. The investigation was initiated when the company from which the defendant sought a bribe alerted law enforcement.
According to the complaint, after the company exercised its right to challenge citations, Fazlollahi used an informal conference as an opportunity to solicit concrete work for his personal residence in exchange for a reduction in citations. Operating under the assumption that the concrete work would be completed, Fazlollahi then represented Cal/OSHA at an administrative hearing where he reduced the citations in exactly the manner he had promised the company he would.
“This is certainly not a reflection of the hard-working state employees who perform their duties with honesty and a commitment to the citizens of California,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Thanks to the complaint to law enforcement and the work of DOJ special agents, this suspected corrupt individual is now facing charges.”