Hammond councilman to admit taking bribes
By Christin Nance Lazerus email@example.com April 18, 2013 7:20PM
Updated: April 19, 2013 4:07AM
HAMMOND — City Councilman Alfonso Salinas plans to plead guilty to charges of bribery and failure to file a tax return.
The government filed a plea agreement in the case on Thursday afternoon, but a change of plea hearing has not been scheduled.
In October 2012, the government alleged that Salinas received $10,500 in bribes from Dave’s Tree Service owner David Johnson between 2009 and 2011. Salinas, the 2nd District councilman, had the authority to use money in his district. He paid Johnson $310,000 for 11 tree-cutting jobs. Salinas told U.S. attorneys that Johnson, who plead guilty last year, gave him checks with notations to disguise them as legitimate business expenses.
“I accepted the money from Dave’s Tree Service for the purpose of giving more contracts and work to Dave’s Tree Service,” Salinas’ plea agreement reads.
Salinas could face up to 11 years in prison, a $350,000 fine and four years probation. In addition, he would agreed to pay $20,574 in restitution for failing to file taxes between 2006 and 2010. He would also forfeit the $10,500 in proceeds connected to the bribery count.