Inkster Mayor Patrick Wimberly was indicted Tuesday on federal bribery charges. Photo courtesy of City of Inkster/Website
Oct. 4 (UPI) -- The mayor of a Detroit suburb has been indicted on federal bribery charges over accepting tens of thousands of dollars in exchange for facilitating the sale of city property.
The Justice Department announced the bribery charge Tuesday against Inkster Mayor Patrick Wimberly, who, if convicted, faces up to 10 years' imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
"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.
Prosecutors accuse Wimberly of accepting $50,000 in cash from an unidentified person in exchange of assurances that they would have the winning bid on a parcel of city land.
According to court documents, Wimberly demanded cash payments to facilitate the sale that began as $5,000 monthly bribes with expectations that the amount would increase.
Discord then emerged between the pair after the briber, identified as Person A, didn't increase the amount, which prompted Wimberly to complain that he was owed "10$ a month," prosecutors said.
Following the complaint, Person A allegedly increased his monthly payments to $10,000.
"Elected public officials owe a duty to their community to act in the citizens' best interest," U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison said Tuesday. "Our office is committed to prosecuting those public officials who betray the public trust by accepting bribes."