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Former FAA Aviation Safety Inspector Sentenced for Accepting Illegal Gratuities

On April 18, 2012, Harrington Bishop was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Camden, New Jersey, for accepting illegal gratuities.  Mr. Bishop, a former Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Safety Inspector assigned to the Teterboro Flight Standards Safety District Office, Saddle Brook, New Jersey, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison, a $5,000 fine, 1 year of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.  As part of his sentencing, Mr. Bishop was also subject to a criminal forfeiture in the amount of $70,000. 

On October 27, 2011, Mr. Bishop pled guilty to a one-count Information charging acceptance of illegal gratuities as a public official.  Mr. Bishop admitted to accepting tens of thousands of dollars for hundreds of unauthorized pilot check rides he personally performed between May 2004 and February 2011.  Mr. Bishop spent weekends, holidays, and other days of approved leave to conduct flight checks, including private-pilot and airline transport pilot certificate tests.  In exchange for these check flights, he routinely accepted $300 "tips" from the pilots, fully aware that he was not allowed to accept payment from pilots in exchange for the performance of his official duties.  Mr. Bishop admitted that nearly all of the check flights resulted in the pilot passing the tests. 

On October 21, 2011, Mr. Bishop retired from federal service after being served with a Notice of Proposed Removal in connection with the investigation.