Michell DeGrate, a former state inspector has been charged with accepting about $12,000 in bribes from barbershop and salon owners in exchange for not reporting violations to a regulatory board. DeGrate was charged with 13 counts of bribery, she was arraigned in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.
Deputy District Attorney Susan Ser of the Public Integrity Division is prosecuting the case.
DeGrate had previously worked as an inspector for the California Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Barbering and Cosmetology and visited various businesses to ensure they complied with state health and safety laws and licensing requirements. She allegedly began targeting barbershops and nail and hair salons in her inspection territory last year. DeGrate is accused of demanding cash from owners and employees in exchange for not reporting any violations if they paid her. In some instances monthly payments were made to DeGrate. Her recommended bail is $325,000.00, and if convicted as charged she faces up to 16 years in state prison.