Broward schools employee sentenced to 20 months in prison for accepting bribes

A former Broward County employee will be spending the next year in jail after accepting bribes in exchange for giving a contractor a public school contract, authorities said.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced Richard Allen Ellis Jr., 50, was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison for accepting bribes by U.S. District Judge Rodolfo Ruiz.

On July 13, he had pleaded guilty to four counts of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

Ellis was a supervisor for the physical plant operations division of the Broward County School Board when he committed the crimes, court records show.

One of his job duties was to process work orders for repairs at public schools across Broward. He would assign these projects to contractors and then ensure they complete the work and get paid, court records say.

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In May 2018, authorities say Ellis accepted four bribes that totaled more than $6,000 from the representative of a contractor who had done repair work for the school board.

In exchange for the bribes, Ellis agreed to keep the repair work flowing to the contractor and to fast-track payments.

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