Federal Jury Convicts Former Mayor of Portage, Ind., on Bribery Charge

Federal Jury Convicts Former Mayor of Portage, Ind., on Bribery Charge

A federal jury today convicted the former mayor of Portage, Ind., on a bribery charge for soliciting and pocketing money in connection with the awarding of city contracts.

The jury in U.S. District Court in Hammond, Ind., convicted JAMES SNYDER, 43, of Portage, Ind., on one count of bribery.  Evidence at the two-week trial revealed that while serving as mayor, Snyder corruptly solicited and received $13,000 from a business that received more than $1.125 million in city contracts.  The conviction is punishable by up to ten years in federal prison.

Snyder was also convicted following a prior trial in 2019 of obstructing and impeding collection efforts of the IRS.  He faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison on that charge.  Sentencing for both charges is set for July 1, 2021.

The verdict today was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Paul Keenan, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Indianapolis Field Office of the FBI; and Tamera Cantu, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago.  The Indiana State Police provided valuable assistance.  The government was represented at trial by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill R. Koster of the Northern District of Indiana, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ankur Srivastava of the Northern District of Illinois.  The prosecution was supervised by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois upon recusals by supervisory personnel from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana.

Senior writer at the Chicago Morning Star

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