Munster man admits bribe of Hammond councilman
By Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org October 9, 2012 3:50PM
Updated: November 11, 2012 6:21AM
The Munster businessman accused of paying Hammond City Councilman Alfonso Salinas a $10,500 bribe in exchange for more than $300,000 worth of city work will plead guilty in the case.
According to a plea agreement filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Hammond, David Johnson, 56, owner of Dave’s Tree Service, faces up to three years in prison on the charge of bribery.
Johnson was charged last week with paying Salinas the bribe so Salinas would give Johnson tree-trimming work in his district. The indictment claims money for the work came from casino tax revenue council members receive for their districts.
Johnson says in the agreement that he paid Salinas the $10,500 over several payments throughout 2009 to 2011 in order to get more work in Hammond. He also knew Salinas could use the money to improve his district.
Johnson performed 11 jobs for Salinas, getting paid about $310,000.
A change of plea hearing had not been scheduled as of Tuesday afternoon. Salinas, who has been released on a $20,000 bond, has pleaded not guilty in the case.