A county dust inspector was sentenced Wednesday to serve six months in prison, spend 2 and a half years on probation and pay $555 in fees for extortion and bribery.
Darrelle Dotson, 40, was caught on Sept. 6 soliciting a bribe from the operations manager of a Mesa-based construction company. Sheriff’s detectives put a wire on the manager to record the exchange with Dotson in which Dotson asked him for $2,000 to drop pollution complaints at the county’s Air Quality Department.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Dotson set the payoff at 20 percent of the fine the company faced.
Prosecutors filed bribery and extortion charges against Dotson on Sept. 8, and he was indicted on Sept. 25. Though he initially pleaded not guilty, Dotson changed his plea to guilty on Feb. 9 in exchange for prosecutors’ dropping several of the charges.
Dotson will start his jail sentence on May 4, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David Talamante decided.