HAMMOND | The owner of a Munster tree-trimming business will spend a year in federal prison for paying kickbacks to a former Hammond councilman in exchange for city work, court records show.
David Johnson, 58, of Munster, was sentenced during a Friday hearing in Hammond federal court to one year and one day of prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $6,000.
Johnson pleaded guilty last year to bribing an agent of local government to curry work for his company, Dave's Tree Service.
Johnson was accused of paying more than $10,000 in kickbacks to former Hammond City Councilman Al Salinas, who later resigned from office and was convicted in the same scheme. Salinas was sentenced last year to serve 42 months in federal prison.
Salinas, 52, authorized at least $310,000 in contracts to Dave's Tree Service from 2009 to 2011, court records state. Dave’s Tree Service made 11 payments to Salinas during that period, in amounts ranging from $500 to $1,500, to obtain the work, according to the court files.