November 19, 2019 | 12: 06pm
Dennis Tyler, the Democratic mayor of Muncie, Indiana, was indicted on a corruption-related charge of accepting a $5,000 bribe and arrested at his home by FBI agents, federal officials said.
Tyler, 76, is accused of taking the illegal payment after he steered “lucrative excavation work to a local contractor,” the US Attorney’s Office said.
The mayor allegedly accepted the payment from Tracy Barton, the city’s superintendent of sewer maintenance and engineering for the Muncie Sanitary District, according to the indictment against Tyler, which was unsealed Monday.
He was busted at his northside home Monday — and the arrest is part of an ongoing, multi-year investigation by the US Attorney’s Office and the FBI into illegal payments associated with public works projects in Muncie.
“Public officials are entrusted to perform a public service and to legitimately conduct business in the best interest of the community that they represent,” said John Minkler, the acting US attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.
“Tyler not only betrayed the trust of his community, but violated federal law, and all in an effort to serve his own personal interests. My office intends to prosecute Tyler to the full extent of the law.”
Tyler, who has served as mayor since 2012, faces up to 10 years behind bars.
A federal investigation into allegations of corruption linked to the Tyler administration has been underway for nearly four years, according to the Muncie Star Press.
The probe, according to the news outlet, started in early 2016 with Craig Nichols, Tyler’s former building commissioner.
Nichols pleaded guilty last January to wire fraud and money laundering and was sentenced to two years in federal prison, according to the report.
Others charged in the probe include Barton; Nikki Grigsby, the Muncie Sanitary District administrator; and local businessmen Jeffrey Burke, Tony Franklin and Rodney Barber, the Muncie Star Press reported.
With Post wires