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Tag: kickbacks

FBI Raids City Hall, Homes of Baltimore Mayor in Kickback Investigation

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Federal agents raided Baltimore City Hall and two homes owned by Mayor Catherine Pugh as part of an investigation involving the mayor’s self-published children’s books.

The FBI and IRS executed additional search warrants Thursday, targeting her attorney, a former mayoral aide and the Maryland Center for Adult Training, a nonprofit job training program that the mayor once led, the Associated Press reports.

Investigators are trying to determine whether Pugh received kickbacks from her books using bulk sales.

Hours after the raid, Gov. Larry Hogan and other elected officials called for Pugh to immediately resign.

“Mayor Pugh has lost the public trust. She is clearly not fit to lead,” Hogan declared in a statement. “For the good of the city, Mayor Pugh must resign.”

FBI Targets Ex-Ohio House Speaker in Bribery, Kickback Probe

Former Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger is the target of an FBI investigation into potential bribes and kickbacks.

Agents, armed with subpoenas and a search warrant Monday, seized records as part of an investigation that led to the Republican’s sudden resignation in April, the Associated Press reports

The FBI is searching for evidence of extortion, bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery and extortion.

Agents seized hundreds of pages of documents and other records.

Rosenberger’s attorney, David Axelrod, said his client “has nothing to hide” and is cooperating with investigators.

School Administrator Who Defrauded Chicago Public Schools Accused of Similar Crimes in Detroit

Detroit-Public-Schools-DPS--jpgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT –– A former Detroit Public Schools official who pleaded guilty last month to defrauding schools in Chicago is accused of illegally steering a $40 million book deal to DPS, according to court records obtained by the Detroit Free Press. 

The records show that Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who was the accountability officer for DPS from May 2009 to June 2011, had a conflict of interest and lied about her relationship with the book publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

While she worked later at Chicago Public Schools, Byrd-Bennett helped steer $23 million in no-bid contracts in return for $2.3 million in kickbacks and bribes.

She pleaded guilty last month in the Chicago Public Schools case.

A search warrant for her AOL account uncovered the new allegations.

The FBI believes there is “probable cause” that Byrd-Bennett committed theft, fraud and conspiracy while working for DPS.

DPS officials said they are cooperating.

“Detroit Public Schools takes seriously any allegations of misconduct against its employees and/or vendors,” DPS spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski wrote in an e-mail. “As with any matter where there are allegations of misconduct, DPS investigates internally and works cooperatively with the law enforcement agency handling such matters.

Baltimore Landfill Workers Accused of Taking Kickbacks, Stealing Scrap Metal

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A two-year investigation into the Baltimore landfills has led to the arrests of five employees accused to taking bribes and stealing scrap metal, the Baltimore Sun reports.

The workers were arrested and charged in U.S. District Court following several raids.

Some are accused of taking bribes from commercial haulers in exchange for using the facility without paying disposal fees.

Some workers also are accused to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of scrap metal from the landfills.

Public Works Director Rudy Chow wouldn’t comment directly on the charges but said “there is no room for unethical or illegal behavior in the Baltimore City Department of Public Works.”

Breaking: Ex-New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin Gets 10 Years in Prison

Mayor Nagin/city photo

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Another ex-big city mayor is headed to federal prison.

On Wednesday, C. Ray Nagin, the ex-mayor New Orleans was sentenced to 10 years in prison on corruption charges. He was convicted in February.

Nagin was found guilty in February on 20 counts that included kickbacks from contractors seeking city work, the New York Times reported.  The kickbacks came in cash and trips and other things of value.

He was arrested in January 2013, nearly three years after he left office.

Last year in Detroit, ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was hit with a harsh sentence of 28-years for bribery, kickbacks and tax related charges.

To read more click here.

Fed’s Star Witness Testifies That he Delivered Kickbacks to Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

Ex-Mayor Kilpatrick with ex-friend Derrick Miller (inset)

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Kwame Kilpatrick fidgeted in his chair, sometimes leaning to the left, sometimes smirking, looking worried and shaking his head in disbelief, as he watched ex-close friend Derrick Miller deliver some damaging testimony on the 49th day of trial Monday.

Miller, who was part of Kilpatrick’s inner circle at city hall, and who was billed as the prosecution’s star witness, testified in Detroit federal court that he regularly took cash kickbacks from a real estate firm that did business with the city and shared half with Kilpatrick. He did not specify how much he shared.

In his three hours of testimony, Miller painted Kilpatrick as someone who lied to the public, pocketed bribes, steered money to friends and family, and was so paraonoid of the feds that he had his office swept for bugs. Specifically, Miller said Kilpatrick publicly claimed he properly used funds from the nonprofit Kilpatrick Civic Fund while he appeared to have violated the law by using the money for his campaign and personal expenses, including lavish resort vacations, golf clubs and yoga classes.

The long-awaited testimony seemed to help prosecutors connect the dots and corroborate testimony, but may have fallen a little short of the drama some had anticipated. But there is more to come Tuesday, as the prosecution indicated it planned to question Miller for about two more hours.

To read more click here.