MUNCIE, Ind.–Former Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler was sentenced Wednesday to one year and one day in prison for accepting a bribe, said U.S. Attorney John E. Childress.
Tyler, 78, pleaded guilty in October, after an extensive investigation by the FBI.
In December of 2015, Tyler took $5,000 in cash from a local excavation contractor in exchange for awarding public works projects to that contractor, passing up lower bids or more qualified contractors, said a news release.
Tyler received the money in a parking lot from former Muncie Superintendent of Sewer Maintenance and Engineering, Tracy Barton, who delivered the cash on behalf of the contractor. Barton has also been charged in this investigation.
That incident was followed by others in which contracts were awarded in Muncie. Another company paid a kickback to Tyler in the form of doing work on his own personal property.
Tyler also asked two city employees to lie about getting bids from contractors for other work, which ended up being awarded to a company that did not do the work. That company was also paying Tyler..
Eight other people have been charged:
- Tracy Barton, 51, Selma, Indiana, was indicted in September 2018 for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, falsification of documents in a federal investigation, and witness tampering. His case is pending.
- Jeff Burke, 55, Muncie, Indiana, was indicted in September 2018 for bank fraud, false statements to agents of the federal Bureau of Investigation, and obstruction of grand jury proceedings. His case is pending.
- Rodney Barber, 53, Muncie, Indiana, was indicted May 2019 for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and false statements. His case is pending.
- Phil Nichols, 75, Muncie, Indiana, was indicted in March 2020 for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and witness tampering. His case is pending.
- Debra Nicole Grigsby, 47, Muncie, Indiana, was indicted in March 2020 for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud. Her case is pending.
- Jess Neal, 54, Yorktown, Indiana, was indicted in March 2020 for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud. His case is pending
- Tony Franklin, 62, Yorktown, Indiana, was indicted in March 2020 for 2 counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 2 counts of wire fraud, and 2 counts of false statements. His case is pending.
- Craig Nichols, 42, Selma, Indiana, was indicted in February 2017 for 16 counts of wire fraud, theft of government funds, and 16 counts of money laundering. He was sentenced in January 2019 to 2 years in prison, serve 3 years of supervised release after his imprisonment, and ordered to pay $217,892 in restitution.
“Mr. Tyler’s greed caught up with him and he will now be held accountable,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John E. Childress. “The citizens of Muncie and the hard-working city employees deserved better out of their mayor, and hopefully this sentence will help restore some public trust and confidence in the government that serves them.”
“This sentence shows that public corruption will not be tolerated. Mr. Tyler was entrusted by the community to represent their interests but instead chose to betray that trust through his abuse of public office for his personal gain,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan. “Public corruption is a top criminal investigative priority for the FBI, and we encourage the public to continue to come forward and report abuses of public office.”
Tyler will also serve 3 years of supervised release following his prison term and must also pay $15,250 in restitution.
- FOUND: Momo the Monkey on the Loose: Indianapolis’ East Side on High Alert
- NWS: Expect a Rainy Wednesday Across Indiana
- Pacers GM: Contract Extension Talks with Buddy Hield Are “At a Halt” But That Doesn’t Mean They’re Done
- Murder Suspect Kevin Mason Captured
- Pence: Trump Owes it to the American People to Debate
The Dangers of Brown Friday & How You Can Prepare for the Worst
Feds, Rush County Sheriff Search Home In Valerie Tindall's Disappearance
Indiana State Police K9 Koda Receives Life-Saving Armor
Indianapolis Firefighter Among More than 20 Arrested in Child Solicitation Sting
Big Ten Championship Game's Future in Indianapolis Uncertain After 2024.
Kendall And Casey
Man Charged with Murder, Body Found During Investigation Into Missing Rush County Girl
A new Buc-ee's will be less than 2 hours from Indy