Staten Island man arrested for attempting to bribe city employee to lease Mill Basin Wharf

A Staten Island man was arrested on April 1 for allegedly offering an EDC employee a boat if he fast-tracked his lease of the Mill Basin Wharf.
File photo by Steve Solomonson

A Staten Island man was arrested Thursday for allegedly bribing an employee of the city’s economy-boosting arm to fast-track his approval to lease the Mill Basin Wharf. 

“Bribery and gift-giving are not the ways to do business with the City of New York. Today’s arrest demonstrates that City employees are one of our most valuable tools to combat corruption,” said City Department of Investigations Commissioner Margaret Garnett. “This investigation underscores the value and importance of New York City’s mandate that City employees must report corruption.”

In July 2020, Bachir Bourabah reportedly offered an employee of the Economic Development Corporation a boat and space at his dock if the city were to grant his lease of the dock on a shorter timetable than the typical bidding process, which can take months.

Since city employees are prohibited from accepting gifts or money for performing their job duties, the EDC employee immediately reported the violation to the city’s Department of Investigation — but it wasn’t the only time feds say Bourabah took his shot.

After allegedly making a second offer that July, the 60-year-old defendant phoned the EDC for the third time in November, but instead of an agency rep, Bourabah allegedly told an undercover city investigator, “I’ll get you a boat, and I’ll take you fishing, and I’ll … I’ll take good care of you.”

The EDC has been working in partnership with DockNYC — which operates 11 waterfront sites, including the Mill Basin Wharf — to improve their utilization of the southern Brooklyn marina.

Bourabah was arrested on April 1, and is facing one felony bribery charge — punishable by up to seven years in prison — as well as three misdemeanor counts, each punishable by up to one-year imprisonment.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case, with Bourabah set to appear before the court on May 3. 

“I commend the City employee who was allegedly offered this bribe for his integrity in immediately coming forward and reporting it to DOI,” said Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “The defendant in this case allegedly tried to corrupt the process by which City contracts are awarded and we will now seek to hold him accountable.”