|TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that a former Atlantic City inspector pleaded guilty today to accepting cash bribes from a taxi operator and operators of massage parlors and “stress therapy centers.”
Logan F. Holt Jr., 55, of Galloway Township, pleaded guilty to a second-degree charge of official misconduct before Superior Court Judge Mark H. Sandson in Atlantic County. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Holt be sentenced to five years in state prison, including two years and three months of parole ineligibility. He will be permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey. Judge Sandson scheduled sentencing for Holt for Nov. 21.
Deputy Attorney General Peter W. Lee, Deputy Chief of the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau, and Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Gilmore took the guilty plea. Holt was indicted in November as the result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau and the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau.
Holt was an inspector with the Atlantic City Department of Licenses and Inspections, Mercantile Department, from 2002 until February 2012. In pleading guilty, Holt admitted that on April 1, 2010, he accepted an $800 cash bribe from a taxi operator, and in return, appeared in municipal court that same day to request that the court dismiss two tickets that had been issued to the taxi operator by another inspector for violations involving the condition of his vehicle. The count of the indictment to which Holt pleaded guilty also charges that on May 11, 2010, he accepted a $250 payment from the same taxi operator for allowing his cab to pass its annual city vehicle inspection.
“It’s always a serious crime when an official betrays his duties for a bribe, but it’s even more egregious when it involves ignoring rules that protect public health and safety,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. “Holt selfishly and callously put his wallet ahead of the public’s safety by allowing taxi operators to skirt requirements regarding the operating condition of their cabs.”
“Holt had the official authority to impose significant fines and repair costs on licensed operators in Atlantic City, but instead he used that power to solicit bribes,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We will continue to aggressively prosecute this type of abuse of public office.”
The state’s investigation revealed that, in addition to the incidents to which he pleaded guilty, Holt accepted cash bribes from owners and operators of several “stress therapy” and massage businesses on Atlantic and Pacific Avenues in return for refraining from enforcing ordinances and regulations governing the operation of those businesses.
The investigation was conducted for the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau by Detective Matthew Peeke, Detective Sgt. 1st Class David Caracciolo, Detective Anthony Carugno, retired Detective John Redkoles and retired Detective Karl Ulbrich.
The investigation began with a referral from the Atlantic City Department of Licenses and Inspections, which allegedly received a complaint that Holt had been soliciting bribes.
Acting Attorney General Hoffman and Director Honig noted that the Division of Criminal Justice has established a toll-free Corruption Tipline 1-866-TIPS-4CJ for the public to confidentially report corruption, financial crime and other illegal activities. The public also can log on to the Division’s web page at www.njdcj.org to report suspected wrongdoing confidentially.