LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Corrupt American mayors
By City Mayors Research*

Corrupt American mayorsON THIS PAGE: Corruption, a threat to decency in society ||| Most recent list of corrupt US mayors ||| US mayors who committed crimes while in office

ON OTHER PAGES: Code of Ethics for mayors ||| American mayors ||| Women mayors in America ||| New York’s Borough Presidents

Corrupt US mayors pose a
threat to decency in society

November 2022: The preamble to the City Mayors’ Code of Ethics states that honest local government is the foundation of any nation that strives to provide its citizens with happiness, security and prosperity. It continues to say that corruption and misconduct by local government officials threaten fundamental decency in a society. America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which warns that public corruption poses a fundamental threat to national security and the US way of life, has over the past four decades brought to justice thousands of elected officials, who used their positions to enrich themselves. The FBI archive currently allows access to more than 3,800 cases of corruption by members of local, state and federal government as well as by officers in the police and fire services.  Among convicted city leaders are mayors of some of the largest US cities, including Dallas, San Diego, Charlotte, Nashville, Detroit, New Orleans and Baltimore, but also many mayors from small-town America.


Most recent list of American mayors who used their
offices to enrich themselves and/or their associates

Mayor
City, State, Population
Indictment, Sentence, Date
Jermaine Wright,
Acting Mayor in 2017
Adelanto
California
38,000
Jermaine Wright, former Adelanto acting mayor, sentenced to five years in prison
Adelanto's former acting mayor was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison for accepting a $10,000 cash bribe and hiring a man to burn down his restaurant so he could fraudulently collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in insurance proceeds.
Sentenced October 2022
Félix Delgado-Montalvo
Mayor from 2016 to 2021
Cataño
Puerto Rico
24,000
Félix Delgado-Montalvo , former mayor of Cataño, accepted bribes
Former Cataño mayor Félix Delgado-Montalvo pleaded guilty on a criminal charge related to his involvement in a bribery conspiracy in which he received weekly cash payments in exchange for awarding municipal contracts.
He waived his right to be indicted by a grand jury and agreed to a plea deal for conspiracy to commit bribery and receive kickbacks. As part of the settlement, more than $100,000 and four Rolex watches, including two Rolex Datejust, a Rolex Submariner, and a Rolex Pepsi, and a Vacheron Constantin, will be seized, estimated at $105,000.
As part of the agreement, the former Cataño mayor faces a five-year prison sentence, down from the 21 years he would have faced without a deal.
Pleaded guilty December 2021; Sentenced March 2022
LeRoy Burcroff
Mayor of Romulus from 2014 to 2022
Romulus
Michigan
26,000
Disgraced mayor LeRoy BurcroffLeRoy Burcroff, former mayor of Romulus, pleaded guilty to theft
Former Romulus mayor pleaded to wire fraud following his theft and misuse of over $15,000 in campaign funds. - Burcroff was elected mayor of the City of Romulus in 2014. As part of his election efforts, Burcroff established a committee to elect (CTE) fund entitled, 'Committee to Elect LeRoy D. Burcroff'.
Over the next two-and-a-half years, Burcroff devised and executed a scheme to defraud donors to his CTE account by fraudulently using these funds for his personal benefit rather than for his election. For example, in November 2017, Burcroff spent over $6,000 in campaign funds to pay for a family member's wedding.
Guilty plea August 2022
Rodrigo Lopez
Mayor of Penitas, Texas from 2015 to 2022
Peñitas
Texas
6,000
Disgraced mayor Rodrigo LopezRodrigo Lopez, former mayor of Peñitas, convicted of defrauding La Joya school district
As a result of the fraudulent approvals, Lopez fraudulently received at least $34,924 in profits and proceeds from the LJISD. Lopez agreed to pay restitution in that amount.
October 2022
Laura Jordan, Mayor from 2015 to 2022 Richardson
Texas
120,000
Disgraced mayor Laura JordanLaura Jordan, former Richardson Mayor, sentenced for public corruption convictions.
The former mayor of Richardson, Texas, and a land developer whom she married after the federal investigation began, have been sentenced for their public corruption convictions in the Eastern District of Texas.
Laura Jordan and Mark Jordan were convicted by a jury on July 24, 2021, of bribery concerning a program receiving federal funds, conspiracy to commit bribery concerning a program receiving federal funds, tax fraud, and conspiracy to commit tax fraud. Laura Jordan was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison. Mark Jordan was also sentenced and received 72 months in federal prison.
Sentenced August 2022
Jason Lary
Mayor from 2015 to 2022
Stonecrest
Georgia
60,000
Disgraced mayor Jason LaryJason Lary, former Mayor of Stonecrest, sentenced to prison for stealing COVID relief funds
Jason Lary, the former Mayor of the City of Stonecrest, has been sentenced for using his elected office to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funds allocated to the city.
Lary has been sentenced to four years and nine months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $119,608. Lary pleaded guilty to wire fraud, federal program theft, and conspiracy on 5 January 2022. Lania Boone, Lary's co-conspirator, pleaded guilty to conspiracy on 11 February 2022.
Sentenced July 2022
Eduardo Cintrón-Suárez
Mayor of from 2013 to 2022
Guayama
Puerto Rico
37,000
Disgraced mayor Eduardo Cintron-SuarezEduardo Cintrón-Suárez, former mayor of Guayama, Puerto Rico, sentenced for accepting bribes
The former mayor of the Municipality of Guayama, Puerto Rico, Eduardo Cintrón-Suárez, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for his involvement in a bribery scheme in which he received cash payments in exchange for executing municipal contracts and approving invoice payments for an asphalt and paving company.
Eduardo Cintrón-Suárez was the mayor in the municipality of Guayama from 2013 until 2022. Starting in 2013, Cintrón-Suárez executed asphalt and paving contracts and also approved municipal payments to Company A. In exchange, Cintrón-Suárez agreed to receive a kickback payment corresponding to $1.00 per square meter of new asphalt laid by Company A in the municipality of Guayama under the contracts. This kickback scheme continued until approximately February 2021.
Eduardo Cintrón-Suárez pleaded guilty in April 2022 to one count of conspiracy to engage in a bribery scheme
Sentenced July 2022
José Luis Cruz Cruz
Mayor from 2009 to 2022
Trujillo Alto
Puerto Rico
76,000
Disgraced mayor Jose Luis CruzJosé Luis Cruz Cruz, former mayor of Trujillo Alto pleaded guilty to accepting bribes
The former mayor of the Municipality of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, pleaded guilty to engaging in a bribery conspiracy in which he received cash kickback payments in exchange for the award of municipal asphalt and paving contracts as well as municipal trash removal contracts.
Guilty plea June 2022
Luis Arroyo-Chiqués
Mayor from 2005 to 2016
Aguas Buenas
Puerto Rico
25,000
Disgraced mayor Luis Arroyo-ChiquesLuis Arroyo-Chiqués , former mayor of Aguas Buenas, sentenced for accepting bribes
Luis Arroyo-Chiqués was sentenced to two years in prison for his involvement in a bribery scheme in which he received monthly cash payments in exchange for awarding municipal contracts. He pleaded guilty in December 2021 to one count of conspiracy to engage in a bribery scheme.
In 2017, Arroyo-Chiqués negotiated with individual B for a waste collection contract for company A, which was owned and operated by individual A. In exchange for the 10-year waste collection contract, individual A agreed to pay Arroyo-Chiqués bribes of $10,000 per month ($1.00 per house for 10,000 houses in the municipality). The agreement was arranged so that Arroyo-Chiqués would be paid $5,000 per month for the life of the contract.
This payment was made in cash every month from 2016 and continued even after Arroyo-Chiqués left office in 2016. The last payment to Arroyo-Chiqués occurred in June 2021.
Sentenced June 2022
Jasiel F. Correia
Mayor, from 2016 to 2020
Fall River
Massachusetts
94,000
Disgraced mayor Jasiel CorreiaJasiel F. Correia, former Fall River mayor sentenced to six years in prison
Jasiel Correia was sentenced in connection with a scheme to defraud investors and extorting and conspiring to extort marijuana vendors for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Correia was sentenced to six years in prison and three years of supervised release. The government recommended 11 years in prison. He was sentenced in connection with a scheme to defraud investors and extorting and conspiring to extort marijuana vendors for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
After taking office as Fall River Mayor in January 2016, Correia agreed to issue non-opposition letters to marijuana vendors in return for cash bribes and other payments. Under Massachusetts law, non-opposition letters from the head of local government are required in order to obtain a license to operate a marijuana business. Correia, as Mayor, was solely responsible for approving all non-opposition letters in Fall River.
Four marijuana vendors agreed to pay bribes ranging from over $75,000 up to $250,000 in cash, campaign contributions and mortgage discharges to Correia and his co-conspirators in return for non-opposition letters and host community agreements
Sentenced September 2021
Mario King
Mayor until 2021
Moss Point
Mississippi
12,000
Disgraced mayor Mario KingMario King, former Moss Point Mayor, and wife sentenced on federal fraud charges
Mario King was sentenced to 30 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $6,938 in restitution and an $8,000 fine.
Natasha King was sentenced to a three-year term of probation with six months of home confinement. She was also ordered to pay $6,938 in restitution and a $5,500 fine.
Sentenced July 2021
Frank Gilliam, Mayor from 2018 to 2019 Atlantic City
New Jersey
40,000
Disgraced mayor Frank GilliamFrank Gilliam, former Atlantic City mayor, sentenced to Prison
The former mayor of Atlantic City was sentenced to 30 days in prison and 11 months of home confinement for defrauding contributors to a youth basketball team out of more than $86,000.
Sentenced January 2021
William L. Courtright
Mayor from 2014 to 2019
Scranton
Pennsylvania
77,000
Disgraced mayor William CourtrightWilliam Courtright, former Scranton Mayor, sentenced to seven-years imprisonment
The former mayor of Scranton was sentenced to seven-years imprisonment on public corruption charges.
Courtright previously pleaded guilty on 2 July 2020, to charges involving criminal conspiracy, bribery and extortion in July 2019. Courtright had been the subject of a multi-year year undercover investigation headed by the FBI. The undercover investigation captured the former mayor accepting cash payments from vendors doing business with the city.
Guilty plea July 2020
Joseph Stahura
Mayor from 2004 to 2020
Whiting
Indiana, 4,500
Disgraced mayor Joseph WhitingJoseph Stahura, former Whiting mayor, charged with wire and tax fraud
Joseph Stahura was charged with wire fraud and filing a false income tax return. He has entered into a plea agreement indicating his intent to plead guilty to both charges.
His wife, Diane Stahura, entered into a deferred prosecution agreement wherein she acknowledges that the Government has sufficient evidence to charge her with wire fraud.
According to documents in the case, Mr Stahura, the Mayor of Whiting, Indiana since 2004, and his wife used his campaign fund for personal expenditures, like gambling, credit card debt and providing financial support to an adult daughter. Stahura had been the Mayor of Whiting since 2004 and prior to that he served as a Whiting City Councilman for 20 years. He was also the chairman and treasurer of his campaign committee 'Committee to Elect Joe Stahura'.
From February 2014 through 2019, Mr and Mrs Stahura used approximately $255,000 of funds from the 'Committee' for personal purposes, while disguising the activity by filing campaign reports with false and misleading information and by omitting material information from the reports. To further defraud, they sought donations from individuals and entities, and held fund raising events to raise money for the 'Committee'. Mrs Stahura transferred money from the 'Committee's' bank account to the Stahuras' personal bank account, which were then used the funds to pay personal bills, provide support for their daughter and gamble at casinos.
Stahura was sentenced to two years probation, one year home detention and a $7,500 fine.
Sentenced January 2021
Shawn Morse
Mayor from 2015 to 2019
Cohoes
New York, 18,000
Disgraced mayor Shawn MorseShawn Morse, former Cohoes mayor, sentenced for stealing campaign contributions
Shawn Morse was sentenced today to two years of probation, 200 hours of community service, a $3,000 fine, and forfeiture of $12,250, for defrauding his supporters by stealing campaign contributions for his personal benefit.
During his guilty plea on 20 August 2019, Morse admitted that he and his campaign treasurer, Ralph Signoracci, solicited and received contributions to his political committee the Friends of Shawn Morse and a political action committee.
Signoracci then provided some of those funds to Morse for his personal use including an August 2015 contribution of $500 Morse used to pay a personal bill. In total, as part of the scheme, Morse personally obtained $12,250 in political contributions from at least 10 victims to pay personal expenses at hotels, restaurants, and retailers.
Morse was sentenced to 200 hours community service and fined $3,000.
Sentenced February 2020
Guyland W. Thompson
Mayor from 1994 to 2014
Milton
Florida
11,000
Disgraced mayor Guyland ThompsonGuyland Thompson, former Milton mayor, sentenced to prison for fraud and tax evasion
Thompson was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion. He was ordered to forfeit $221,868 seized from his bank accounts and pay an additional money judgment of $430,132.
Sentenced January 2020
Victor M. Ortiz-Díaz
Mayor from 2005 to 2016
Gurabo
Puerto Rico, 41,000
Victor M. Ortiz-Díaz, former mayor of Gurabo, found guilty of public corruption
Ortiz-Díaz, a.k.a. “Manolito”, was found guilty of one count of bribery. According to the indictment, on or about October 2012, the Municipality of Gurabo owed Company A payments for eight outstanding invoices for work performed in the municipality. Person A, co-owner of Company A, met with mayor Ortiz-Díaz to discuss the outstanding debt.
The mayor solicited $125,000 from Person A to invest in a telecommunications antenna project. Because Company A did not have the money to pay the $125,000, the mayor told Person A that he would have the municipality make a payment to the company. With this money, Company A could be able to cover the 'loan' to Ortiz-Díaz, as well as pay other debts it owed its suppliers.
Sentenced July 2020
Richard Sollars
Mayor from 2013 to 2021
City Of Taylor
Michigan
63,500
Disgraced mayor Richard SollarsRichard Sollars, former mayor of Taylor, and two others indicted for bribery and tax fraud
A thirty-three count indictment charged Richard Sollars, businessman Shady Awad, and Taylor Community Development Manager Jeffrey Baum with conspiracy to commit bribery in a scheme spanning from 2015 to 2019.
The indictment also charges Sollars and Awad with seven counts of bribery each, and charges Sollars and Baum with 18 counts of wire fraud.
According to the indictment, Sollars helped Awad's real estate development company Realty Transition LLC obtain scores of tax-foreclosed properties owned by the City of Taylor. In return, Awad lavished Sollars with thousands of dollars in cash and over $30,000 in renovations to Sollars's home, over $11,000 in renovations to Sollars's lake house, and over $12,000 in new household appliances.
The appliances included a refrigerator, stove, microwave, dishwasher, a $1,600 cigar humidor, a vacuum cleaner, and a clothes washer and dryer.
Indicted December 2019
Catherine Pugh
Mayor from 2016 to 2019
Baltimore
Maryland
577,000
Disgraced mayor Catherine PughFormer Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh sentenced to three Years in prison for fraud and onspiracy
Pugh was sentenced to three years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and two counts of tax evasion. She was also ordered to pay $411,948 in restitution and to forfeit $669,688 including property on Ellamont Road in Baltimore and $17,800 from the Committee to Re-elect Catherine Pugh.
“The defendant's scheme to cheat the taxpayers of Baltimore was as bold as it was brazen and the sentence shows that the punishment for those actions is swift and severe,” said the FBI.
Sentenced February 2020
Dwaine Caraway
Mayor pro tem in 2011
Dallas
Texas
1.3 million
Disgraced mayor Dwaine CarawayDwaine Caraway, former pro tem mayor of Dallas, sentenced to prison in bribery scheme
Caraway was sentenced to 4 years and 8 months in federal prison for public corruption. Caraway pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and one count of tax evasion.
Sentenced April 2019. The sentence was later reduced by five months
Vaughn Spencer
Mayor from 2012 to 2015
Reading
Pennsylvania
88,000
Bribery and conspiracy to solicit illegal campaign contributions
Eight years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $35,000 fine.
Sentenced 2019
James Snyder
Mayor from 2011 to 2019
Portage
Indiana
37,000
Bribery and obstruction of internal revenue law
After an appeal in 2021, found guilty again in March 2022
Sentenced in 2019 and again in March 2022
Edwin Pawlowski
Mayor from 2006 to 2018
Allentown
Pennsylvania, 121,000
Disgraced mayor Edwin PawlowskiConspiracy, bribery and extortion as well as supplying the FBI with false statements
Sentenced to 18 years in prison, followed by three years supervised release
Sentenced 2018
Megan Barry
Mayor from 2015 to 2018
Nashville
Tennessee
684,000
Disgraced mayor Megan BarryTheft of municipal funds
Sentenced to three-year felony probation plus reimbursement of misappropriated funds
Sentenced 2018


Additional
American mayors who
committed crimes while in office


Mayor
City, State, Population
Indictment, Sentence, Date
Robert Meyer New Roads, LA (4,600) Abuse of office
1 year felony probation and US$10,000 fine
2018
Joey Torres Paterson, NJ (147,000) Corruption involving family members
5 years prison
2017
Luis Aguinaga South El Monte, CA (21,000) Bribery and corruption
1 year prison
2017
Ken Harycki Stillwater, MN (19,000( Conspiracy to defraud US government
1 year prison
2017
Robert Porter Paintsville, KY, (4,000) Misuse of federal property and city resources
4 years prison and $4,000 fine
2017
Tommy Nelson New Roads, LA (4,600) Conspiracy and fraud
Found guilty in 2011, 10 year-prison sentence confirmed in 2016
Lucie Tondreau North Miami, FL (62,000) Mortgage fraud
65 months prison
2015
Ruth Thomasine Robinson Martin, KY, (650) Vote buying, identity theft, federal program fraud
90 months prison
2014
Octavio Garcia Von Borstel Nogales, AZ (21,000) Fraud, theft, bribery and money laundering
Three and a half years prison
2014
George Grace St Gabriel, LA (7,200) Racketeering, corruption
Initially sentenced to 22 years in prison; reduced to 20 years in 2014
Tony Mack Trenton, NJ (84,500) Corruption
58 months prison
2014
Ray Nagin New Orleans, LA (369,250) Corruption
10 years prison
2014
Patrick Cannon Charlotte, NC (793,000) Theft and bribery
44 months prison
2014
Omar Leonel Vela Progreso, TX (5,700) Bribery and corruption
10 years prison
2014
Bob Filner San Diego, CA (1.3 million) False imprisonment and battery
Three months house arrest; partial loss of mayoral pension
2013
John Bencivengo Hamilton, NJ (88,400) Corruption, bribery
Sentenced to 38 months in prison
2013
Kwame Kilpatrick Detroit, MI (701,500) Racketeering, extortion, mail fraud
28 years prison
2013
Patricia Christensen Port St Lucie, FL (185,000) Theft of campaign funds
Guilty plea agreement; probationary sentence
2011
George Pabey East Chicago, IN (28,000) Conspiracy and theft of government funds
5 years prison
2011
Dennis P. Elwell Secaucus, NJ (18,350) Bribery
Prison
2011
Eddie Price Mandeville, LA (12,400) Tax evasion, corruption
64 months prison
2010
Larry Kangford Birmingham, AL (212,000) Bribery, fraud
15 years prison
2010
Peter Cammarano Hoboken, NJ (52,000) Extortion
24 months prison
2009
Sheila Ann Dixon Baltimore, MD (621,000) Embezzlement
Loss of pension
2009
Sharpe James Newark, NJ (277,000) Fraud
27 months prison
2008
Samuel Rivera Passaic, NJ (70,200) Attempted extortion
21 months prison
2008
Emmanuel Onunwor East Cleveland, OH (17,800) Corruption and tax evasion
9 years prison
2005
Anthony Russo Hoboken, NJ (52,000) Public corruption
30 months prison
2004
Joseph Peter Ganim Bridgeport. CN (146,400) Kickbacks
Prison
2003
Vincent Albert Cianci Providence, RI (178,400) Racketeering
5 years prison
2002
Betty Loren-Maltese Cicero, IL (84,000) Insurance fraud
8 years prison
2002
Milon Milan Camden, NJ (77,300) Corruption
7 years prison
2000
Raúl L. Martínez Hialeah, FL (231,900) Extortion and racketeering 1996
Walter Tucker Compton, CA (97,600) Extortion and tax evasion
27 months prison
1996
Charles Paniki Chicago Heights, IL (30,400) Bribery
10 years prison
1993
Gerald McCann Jersey City, NJ (254,400) Fraud
2 years prison
1992
Alex Daoud Miami Beach, FL (90,600) Bribery
18 months prison
1991
Michael J. Matthews Atlantic City, NJ (39,500) Bribery
15 years prison
1984
Edward McIntyre Augusta, GA (194,300) Extortion
Prison
1984
Angelo Joseph Errichetti Camden, NJ (77,300) Bribery
3 years prison
1981
William Somers Atlantic City, NJ (39,500) Extortion
1972
Thomas Whelan Jersey City, NJ (254,400) Conspiracy and extortion
15 years prison
1971
Hugh Joseph Addonizio Newark, NJ (277,000) Bribery
Prison
1970


And also:

• Mayor of West New York, NJ, arrested for computer hacking (2012)

• Mayor of Walnut Grove, Mississippi, for witness tampering (2012)

• Mayor of Upland, CA, convicted of accepting bribes (2012)

• Mayor of Nogales, Arizona, charged with bribery, theft and fraud (2012)

• Mayor of Cedarville, Arkansas, convicted of theft (2012)

• Mayor of Vicksburg, Mississippi, convicted of bribery (2013)

• Mayor of Junction City, Kansas, convicted of bribery (2012)

• Mayor of Melissa, Texas, indicted on bribery (2012)

• Mayor of Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, arrested for bribery (2012)

• Mayor of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, indicted on bribery and extortion (2014)

• Mayor of St Gabriel, LA, indicted on racketeering (2010)

• Mayor of Ball, LA, convicted of hurricane disaster fraud (2011)

• Mayor of Sweetwater, Florida, convicted of corruption (2014)

• Mayor of South Pittsburg, TN, convicted of running illegal gambling business

• Mayor of Grandview, Missouri, convicted of charity fraud (2014)

• Mayor of Cudahy, CA, pleads guilty to extortion and bribery (2012)

• Mayor of Port Allen, LA, convicted of racketeering (2012)

• Mayor of Kinloch, Missouri, convicted for fraud and embezzlement (2011)

• Mayor of Mandeville, LA, convicted for tax evasion (2010)

• Mayor of Pineville, Kentucky, pleaded guilty to vote buying (2009)

• Mayor of Niagara Falls, NY, pleaded guilty to fraud (2010)

• Mayor of Hamilton, NJ, charged with attempted extortion (2012)

• Mayor of New Roads, LA, indicted on racketeering (2010)


*City Mayors Research used source material supplied by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Offices of the United States Attorneys

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