Former Dayton city commissioner Joey Williams could face a city code violation on top of federal corruption charges, the Dayton Daily News found.
A federal indictment unsealed last week accuses Williams of accepting more than $50,000 in bribes, including cash and home improvement work — such as a patio — in exchange for helping a contractor get work for the city.
But city records include no building permits for a patio at Williams’ home on Sunnyview Avenue. City building inspection officials say constructing a patio requires a permit.
The cost of such a permit could vary from $150 to more than $500 based on the total value of the project, according to city spokeswoman Toni Bankston.
“If someone proceeds without a permit there is language in the ordinance to double-fee — however this has typically not been our practice,” Bankston wrote in an email responding to questions from the Dayton Daily News.
City officials did not return calls for comment. Bankston’s email did not respond to whether the city will take any action on the potential code violation at Williams’ home.
Williams’ attorney did not return a message seeking comment.
The indictment doesn’t identify the vendor, calling him or her only “Individual A.”
During early 2105, Williams and Individual A had discussions concerning Individual A’s difficulties obtaining contracts or other work with the city of Dayton, the indictment says.
“Contemporaneous with these conversations, (Williams) indicated that he had a construction project that he hoped to complete at his personal residence,” the indictment states.
The indictment states the company agreed to work on Williams’ house “for a substantially discounted price.”
The indictment doesn’t state the full scope of the home improvements. The only specific work noted is the patio. It states Williams at one point tried to hide the payments by having false invoices created, making it look like Williams paid the individual more than $50,000 for the home improvements.
Williams lives in a 3,600-square-foot, 1.5-story cape cod style home on Sunnyview Avenue near the Miami Valley Golf Club.
Drone video shot by the Dayton Daily News last week appears to show a patio and basketball court behind the home. Current Google satellite images appear to show that area under construction.
The Dayton Daily News obtained copies of all building permits filed at Williams’ address. The most recent permit filed with the city was to replace a furnace in 2008.
Williams stepped down from the city commission in February 2018, months after winning reelection. Williams was a sitting commissioner at the point he was allegedly having work done on his home without a permit.
City building code requires a permit for any size of patio, according to building officials. The main thing they are looking for with a patio is making sure too much of the property isn’t covered with an hard surface, which could cause water run-off problems for neighbors.
STAYING WITH THE STORY
The Dayton Daily News first broke the news about a federal investigation into corruption in Dayton. The newspaper will continue to dig into this important story to find out what’s really going on. If you have tips or any information on this investigation, please call or email Josh Sweigart at 937-328-0374 or email@example.com.
Josh Sweigart is an investigative reporter at the Dayton Daily News. His stories have focused on government waste, fraud, abuse and accountability in southwest Ohio, as well as the statehouse and U.S. Capitol.