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DA: Pizza shop worker paid bribes to pass health inspections in sting

Adolfo Delacruz, an employee of West Philadelphia chain Stacy's Pizza, is accused of bribing an undercover agent posing as a health inspector.

An employee of a West Philadelphia pizza chain has been charged with two counts of bribery for allegedly making cash payments to an undercover agent posing as a health inspector.

Stacy's Pizza worker Adolfo Delacruz, 35, turned himself in to authorities Thursday following a joint investigation by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Public Corruption Task Force and the Philadelphia Inspector General's Office, the District Attorney's Office announced in a news release.

An investigator from the Inspector General's Office was wired with recording equipment and dispatched to two Stacy's Pizza outlets under the guise of conducting health inspections, prosecutors said.

During a Sept. 20 visit to the shop at 7404 Drexel Road, the investigator mentioned mouse feces and a previous negative inspection to Delacruz and commented the business might not pass again, prosecutors said.

Delacruz allegedly offered the agent $500 in exchange for giving the restaurant a passing inspection score and agreeing not to come back for a year.

He then asked if he could get the same deal for the location at 4201 Market St., according to investigators.

Delacruz met the agent there Oct. 8, paid him cash, and accepted a Health Department inspection report of compliance, despite the fact no inspection was performed, prosecutors said.

After the agent left, Delacruz called him and apologized because the payoff was $20 short, amounting to $480, according to investigators.

Prosecutors said Delacruz admitted to the crimes Dec. 5, signing a statement in which he said he paid the bribes "to keep the place running for a couple months so he wouldn't write up violations."

He was arraigned Thursday and released on his own recognizance. Delacruz is next due in court Jan. 6 for a preliminary hearing.