A Prince William County building inspector was arrested yesterday on a bribery charge resulting from an ivestigation into allegations that housing developers paid off county inspectors.
Building inspector Larry Liming became the first county offical to be charged in the eight-month-long probe that has already led to bribery charges against five Prince William builders.
Liming, arrested shortly after he got off work was charged with accepting a bribe from an unidentified builder in return for approving improper construction work.
No criminal charges have been filed against a former county investigators.
The first offical confirmation of Wright's cooperation was contained in a search warrant affidavit filed in court this week in which investigators stated Wright told them of payoffs he had received from builders.
The affidavit was filed in connection with a search state and county police investigators conducted Thursday at the offices of Eaheart Building Corp. in Manassas.
Wright told investigators that during 1978 and 1979 Joseph C. Eaheart Jr., the president of the company that bears his name, allegedly paid him cash bribes to conduct improper inspections, according to the search warrant affidavit. The affidavit also says Wright approved five house foundations before building permits had been issued to Eaheart's company.
So far, no criminal charges have been filed against Eaheart.
James L. Guffey, an investigator with the Virginia Department of Commerce, declined to elaborate on details of the probe yesterday, saying that "we're still investigating more contractors and inspectors."
Four of the five contractors charged with bribery have been arrested. They are: Jerry Lee Lewis, 34, of Haymarket; Earl Miller, 42, of Manassas; Luther Anderson of Manassas; and Lewis Edward Hendershot of Manassas.
The bribery charges resulted from an investigation into large number of homeowner complaints that builders paid off county inspectors to approve faulty or incomplete work at new housing sites in the fast growing county.