A 71-year-old suburban Chicago instructor convicted of taking bribes to enable restaurant workers to skip mandated sanitation training has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.
A U.S. attorney's office statement Thursday says Ernest Griffin took bribes of $175 from individuals who wanted sanitation certificates required under Illinois and Chicago law without attending 15-hour training courses.
The Lynwood man was authorized by the Illinois Department of Public Health to teach the courses and give final exams. Prosecutors say he accepted the bribes from 2008 to 2015.
A government sentencing memo said the scheme "not only potentially caused physical harm to members of the public, but also chipped away at the confidence" of agencies to enforce public-health regulations.
At Wednesday's sentencing in Chicago federal court, Judge Manish Shah also fined Griffin $5,000.