Miami-Dade County

Former Miami-Dade supervisor sentenced to five years for taking kick-backs

A former Miami-Dade County government employee who oversaw street lighting projects has been sentenced to five years in prison for accepting $150,000 in bribes from a contractor.

Garfield Perry, 67, of North Miami Beach, who worked as the roadway lighting coordinator for the Department of Public Works, must also pay a fine of $12,500.

Perry, sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga, pleaded guilty in May to a bribery conspiracy charge. He admitted he accepted payments from the vendor on two home mortgages, one car loan and eight credit cards, among other bribes.

In return for the payments, Perry helped ensure that the contractor's lighting products were used in the county's street maintenance projects, according to his plea agreement with Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Kaplan.

Perry, who held the coordinator's job from 2002 to 2009, was responsible for overseeing the maintenance of more than 22,000 street lights in the county's roadway system.

Perry was the county's second roadway lighting coordinator to be convicted of the same conspiracy offense in the past year.