Miami, Florida – U.S. District Judge Rodolfo Ruiz, who sits in Ft. Lauderdale, sentenced 50-year-old Richard Allen Ellis, Jr., of Hollywood, Florida, to 20 months in prison for accepting bribes from a contractor. Ellis worked as a supervisor for the Physical Plant Operations Division of the Broward County School Board when he committed the crimes.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
According to court records, one of Ellis’ job duties at the School Board was to process work orders for repairs to the grounds of public schools in Broward County. Ellis assigned projects to contractors, ensured that they adequately performed the work, and authorized payment when the work was done. In May 2018, Ellis accepted four bribe payments totaling 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 of the contractor’s invoices. In 2018, part of the School Board’s operating budget came from federal funds.
On July 13, 2020, Ellis pled guilty to four counts of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.
FBI Miami investigated the case and received substantial cooperation from the School Board of Broward County. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia R. Wood prosecuted the case.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 19-cr-60369.