Joseph Vasapollo Jr.
took over the city's Building Department in 2003 during a time of grief, after the unexpected death of then-Superintendent Robert F. Finnegan.
On Friday, other emotions surged, this time over Vasapollo's tenure in the job.
City officials voiced shock and disillusionment after he
was charged with allegedly taking bribes in exchange for giving a contractor work in the city.
, 66, was arrested at his
Gifford Street home Friday morning on a federal indictment charging him with three counts of extortion under the color of official right and one count of bribery.
pleaded innocent at his
arraignment in U.S. District Court, Boston, before federal Magistrate Leo T. Sorokin and was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond, meaning he
didn't have to post any money.
is set to return to court Oct. 19 at 3 p.m.
And the secretly taped recordings described in the indictment hinted there may have been other kickbacks as well.
According to federal officials and the indictment unsealed Friday, Vasapollo
was caught on tape taking kickbacks from a contractor doing asbestos-removal work at the Brockton War Memorial Building
in an alleged scheme dating to at least 2007.
earned $97,000 as the top man in the city's Building Department.
It was his
second stint in Brockton, his
He held the number-two slot in the Building Department from 1994 through 2001, when he left to be West Bridgewater's building inspector.
During that time, he
headed the mayor's code enforcement task force that resulted in the removal of abandoned buildings in the city, among other tasks.
After Finnegan died, Vasapollo
returned in 2003 to the top spot in the Brockton Building Department
, but did not meet state certification for the job, even though he
was granted extensions.
Home-rule legislation was filed to provide an extension, but it was vetoed by the governor, according to Councilor-at-large Thomas Brophy.
was going to file it again earlier this year, but withdrew it before it reached the council because he
felt there wasn't any support for it.
was hospitalized in June 2008 after suffering an apparent heart attack at his
was in intensive care for some time and remained out on sick leave for an extended period.
Vasapollo, a lifelong resident of the city, graduated from Brockton schools and later took architecture, engineering and construction courses at the Boston Architectural Center and Wentworth Institute.
"I'm devastated for Joe and his family," said former Mayor John T. Yunits Jr., who brought Vasapollo back to work for the city in 2003.
When Yunits left office nearly four years ago, Vasapollo stayed on under Mayor James E. Harrington.
But Harrington never reappointed Vasapollo
, just kept him on.
City councilors, too, expressed concern over the charges against Vasapollo