Two QA Inspectors Arrested in Miss.; Allegedly Solicited Contractors for Hurricane Ivan Bribes

August 22, 2005

Clarence Parnell of Vicksburg, Miss. and Sarah Tolbert of Pensacola, Fla. have been indicted by a grand jury and face federal charges of soliciting bribes while doing relief work after Hurricane Ivan hit the Florida Panhandle last September.

Parnell is employed at the U.S. Army Engineering Research and Development Center. Authorities investigated Parnell’s activities and allegations he had offered favorable inspections of storm-damaged structures in return for payoffs from contractors and subcontractors.

The two were quality assurance inspectors in a program managed by the Army Corps of Engineers and funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency called Operation Blue Roof. If convicted, they could face 15 years in prison each and a $250,000 fine.

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