Jose Hernandez, 46, of Chicago was charged with accepting the bribe from a contractor to approve an inspection at a residential construction site. The U.S. Justice Department said the contractor was cooperating with investigators.
A criminal complaint unsealed Monday said Hernandez allegedly solicited cash bribes totaling tens of thousands of dollars from contractors, developers and homeowners since 2005, the department said in a statement.
Hernandez has been an inspector in Chicago's Department of Buildings since 1988.
If convicted, Hernandez faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.