Opa-locka Public Works assistant director charged in FBI probe of city officials

Gregory Harris, 44, faces up to 5 years in prison

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor
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OPA-LOCKA, Fla. - Opa-locka Public Works assistant director Gregory Harris is the latest person to be charged in an FBI probe involving city officials.

Harris, 44, was charged Thursday with conspiring with other city officials, including a commissioner and the city manager, to extort thousands of dollars from business owners who were seeking occupational licenses and other permits, and to assist them with code enforcement and liens, water service and billing and zoning issues.

According to an indictment, Harris committed federal-programs bribery and extortion "under color of official right" between March 2014 and March 2016.

Harris resigned this week from the Public Works Department, the Miami Herald reported.

He is expected to appear in federal court Friday at 11 a.m.

Harris faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

The FBI probe into city officials came to light in March when federal agents executed a search warrant at the Opa-locka Municipal Complex at 780 Fisherman St.

Gov. Rick Scott has since declared a financial emergency in Opa-locka, and issued an order last month that gives his office control over the city's finances.

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