Federal prosecutors have accused a mayor in the Detroit area of bribery, stating that he demanded and received $50,000 in cash payments in order to “facilitate the sale of property owned by the city to an outside party.”
Inkster Mayor Patrick Wimberly, 49, now faces up to ten years in jail and a $250,000 fine after being accused Tuesday on an allegation of bribery using federally funded programmes, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.
“Mr. Wimberly was elected to serve the people of Inkster, yet he prioritized his personal interests and greed over their needs,” Cheyvoryea Gibson, special agent in charge of the FBI in Michigan, said in a statement. “The FBI considers public corruption its primary criminal investigative concern and will continue investigating allegations to maintain public trust in elected officials.”
Following an investigation by the FBI’s Detroit Area Corruption Task Force, the charge was filed. Inkster, a suburb of Detroit, has a population of roughly 25,000 people.
According to the attorney’s office, over the course of several months, an individual known as Person A “provided Wimberly with monthly cash bribes to secure the purchase of this property.”
“The monthly payments started at $5,000 but the parties agreed to eventually increase that amount. After the initial bribes, Wimberly explained that he was ready to increase the payments,” the attorney’s office said.
“Person A agreed. But when Person A later didn’t provide the amount Wimberly expected, Wimberly complained that he was due ‘10$ a month,’” it added. “Person A then increased the monthly payments to $10,000. In total, Person A provided $50,000 in cash to Wimberly to assure a winning bid of Parcel 1.”
On the city of Inkster’s website, Wimberly, in a message written earlier this year, said “I truly give thanks for the honour of being your mayor and I remain committed to the community.”
“My administration will maintain efforts to engage long-term and new residents in positive cooperation designed to ignite Inkster’s enormous potential,” he added. “Everyone has something to contribute. My vision is that we all will benefit in the future that in many ways is already here — a future that is vibrant yet peaceful, renewed, and traditional. There is much to do.”