Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hammond Council Member Enters Guilty Plea On Bribery Charges

Six months after Hammond city council member Al Salinas was indicted by federal authorities in the northern district of Indiana for accepting money from a tree-trimming contractor in exchange for routing $310,000 in local gaming revenues to the company, he has agreed to plead guilty to two of the charges according to the Northwest Indiana Times. Nonetheless, he plans to hold on to his office as long as the law legally allows him to keep it.
In the agreement, Salinas admits to accepting a bribe from Dave's Tree Service and failing to file a federal tax return, federal court records show.
“I accepted the money from Dave's Tree Service for the purpose of giving more contracts and work to Dave's Tree Service,” Salinas' plea agreement states.
No change of plea hearing had been set for Salinas, who originally pleaded not guilty to the charges, as of Friday. His case had been set to go before a jury in May.
A sentencing hearing for David Johnson, owner of Dave's Tree Service, is set for May 8. Johnson has formally pleaded guilty to bribing Salinas.
When asked if he planned to step down from the City Council, Salinas declined comment. He's serving his fifth term on the City Council representing Hammond's 2nd District . . .
Hammond Mayor and Lake County Democratic Chairman Thomas McDermott Jr. said Salinas can stay in office until he's actually convicted of a felony. He said Salinas had not resigned from the council as of Friday.
According to the Indiana Secretary of State's office, Salinas would need to step down “when the judge announces the guilty verdict.”
“It's not a happy day in Hammond,” McDermott said. “Al is admitting he was bribed basically, so that's not good. That's concerning for me as mayor and I know it's concerning for the rest of the council obviously. It's hard to deal with.”

1 comment:

CircleCityScribe said...

...and another conviction of a corrupt Democrat!

"Corruption is as Corruption does."

-The Democrat Machine

(By the way, has anyone else noticed that the Northern District of Indiana has a string of convictions of corrupt Democrats...and I cannot recall the Southern District's Hogsett as having any at all. -Interesting)