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Code Officer, Firefighter Changing Plea In Beach Corruption Case

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South Florida Crime

MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Two of several Miami Beach employees charged in a FBI corruption scheme are now changing their pleas.

Code officer Vincente Santiesteban, who took a four hundred dollar bribe, has now pleaded guilty.

He was charged, along with Chief Code Compliance officer Jose Alberto, and officers Willie E. Grant, Orlando E. Gonzalez, Ramon D. Vasallo, along with Miami Beach firefighter, Chai D. Footman and fire inspector Henry Bryant.

They were all caught allegedly shaking down a club owner to look the other way and ignore serious violations.

Santiesteban’s plea change is part of a deal with prosecutors. He will be sentenced in August.

Chai Footman is expected to change his plea next week as well.

According to the FBI, Footman racked up bar tabs over a thousand dollars and took bribes in bathrooms to avoid cameras.

In the course of the FBI sting, the men charged in the alleged conspiracy accepted cash bribes in excess of $25 thousand from undercover agents.

The men face up to twenty years in prison if convicted.

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