Bureaucrat openly defends the practice of payoffs. At trial, a Philadelphia plumbing inspector describes taking money from plumbers whose work he was checking as “tipping” which is simply “part of the trade.”
- Angry and unapologetic, a former Philadelphia plumbing inspector yesterday defended accepting cash from plumbers whose work he checked.
Joseph O’Malley told a federal jury that these “tips” never influenced him and, under probing questioning by a prosecutor, gave a candid portrait of a workday that sometimes included hours spent in a local pub or cruising around Roosevelt Park to rack up mileage on his car.
Testifying in his defense in the racketeering and extortion trial of eight former inspectors, O’Malley called “tipping” a “part of the trade” that city plumbers learned as apprentices.
“Is there any question that when you got paid by people, they gave you money because you were a plumbing inspector?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen Rice asked O’Malley.
“It probably was,” O’Malley replied, his voice edgy with anger. “It’s been going like that since 1900, probably. He wasn’t tipping the janitor; he was tipping the plumbing inspector. It went on all the time. It was like waking up in the morning.”
Since it’s been going on for a long time, it’s apparently okay.