A former Erie County Department of Health employee has admitted to falsifying several restaurant inspection reports.
Tuesday morning, Timothy Bean, who worked for the department from 2006 until his resignation on January 5th, pleaded guilty to 14 counts of official misconduct.
“In essence, he was saying that he was inspecting restaurants, but he wasn’t,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.
Bean admitted that between November 16th and December 14th of 2018, he submitted fake inspection reports at 14 different restaurants. Many of them were in the Town of West Seneca. County health commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein previously said she believed as many as 25 inspection reports were invalid, however prosecutors only charged Bean in connection with 14 of them.
“He pleaded to 14 separate misdemeanors today because he did this on 14 different days,” Flynn explained.
“I think if you take a close look at his demeanor today in court, you’d see that he recognizes and understands the the significance of these events,” said Bean’s attorney Terry Connors.
Flynn explained that Bean has been dealing with the deaths of close family members and his best friend.
“He’s a good guy who did a stupid thing here,” Flynn said. “He did a number of stupid things for about a two-month period here.
“He apparently would drive up to a restaurant in his car, planning on doing the inspection. He would sit in his car and have a mental breakdown in the car, and just not be able to get out of the car, go into the restaurant, and do his job.”
Bean is scheduled to be sentenced on August 22nd. He faces a maximum of two years behind bars. Flynn said he hasn’t decided what sentence he will recommend the judge make, however Connors said he believes probation is more appropriate.