57ºF

County worker charged with impersonating building inspector


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Orange County Sheriff's Office said that a county worker has been charged with impersonating a building inspector.

Nelson Ramirez, 49, worked as an Orange County permit analyst. Orange County said his job was to approve permits, not conduct inspections.

The owners of Super Deal Dollar Store in Orlando said they applied for a "Use Permit" with the county on the morning of April 6, 2016.

Investigators said that surveillance video from inside the lobby of the Orange County Division of Building Services, shows Ramirez handing the store owners a note in Mandarin saying, "Arrival at 6:30 this afternoon costs $300 in cash." Detectives also say a forensic testing of Ramirez's work computer showed he used Google translator during the time the business owner was in the lobby.

The store owner told News 6 that Ramirez showed up to their store later that evening, demanding the cash. She said because English is her second language, she didn't understand exactly what he was saying, so she handed him $300 in cash. She said that she knew her husband had applied for a permit earlier that morning, but something didn't seem right.

After telling her husband how Ramirez stopped at their business for the cash, the husband and wife showed up at the county building the next day, asking for a receipt.

The county worker told them that they don't do "after hour" inspections.

The couple then showed Ramirez's manager surveillance from inside their store, and the manager quickly told Ramirez to leave his office and go home.

The business owners said that Ramirez came to their store again, giving back the $300 dollars.

Orange County said that Ramirez resigned from his job weeks after he was suspended.

Investigators said that Ramirez claims he thought the $300 was a generous donation for him taking time out of his evening, to visit the store explaining the permit process.


About the Author: