ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando International Airport employee is accused of accepting bribes from an “unlawful” taxi driver in exchange for allowing the driver to solicit passengers, according to the Orlando Police Department.
Police said the investigation began when they received anonymous information that airport employees were accepting money from illegal solicitors.
On Dec. 20, police said they saw a Mercedes park in front of the doors on level two of terminal B and saw an airport traffic specialist, later identified as Felix Madera, come up to the vehicle’s window.
Madera walked away and the Mercedes driver remained parked at the curb in violation of a sign that read, “no parking, no standing, no idling,” according to the affidavit.
Police said the Mercedes driver was attempting to solicit passengers for an illegal taxi operation.
The driver showed the officer his Cash app transactions, which showed that he had sent eight transactions of at least $10 each to Madera, records show.
Police said Madera’s acceptance of the money shows he was influenced in his commission of his official duties.
He was arrested on charges of bribery, receiving unlawful compensation for official behavior, unlawful use of a two-way communication device and cheating.
Officials with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority said they are cooperating with the Orlando Police Department.
“Since this is an active, ongoing police investigation we cannot comment further at this time. This is however a prime example of our partnership with law enforcement and continuous monitoring activities taking place at Orlando International Airport,” a GOAA spokesperson said.
Madera, who was hired in April 2018, has been suspended without pay pending the results of the investigation.