Munster resident admits to bribing Hammond councilman

2012-10-09T20:00:00Z 2012-10-10T00:19:32Z Munster resident admits to bribing Hammond councilmanMarisa Kwiatkowski, (219) 662-5333

HAMMOND | The owner of a tree-trimming service agreed Tuesday to plead guilty to paying a bribe to a Hammond city councilman in exchange for city work, federal court records show.

David Johnson, of Munster, was among six people indicted last week in five separate public corruption cases. He was accused of giving $10,500 to Hammond City Councilman Alfonso Salinas between June 2009 and December 2011, with the intention of influencing Salinas to give him work, according to the indictment.

Salinas, who also was indicted last week, later authorized at least $310,000 in tree-cutting services to be performed by Johnson's company, Dave's Tree Service, records state. The services were funded through casino boat revenue.

Salinas faces federal charges of receiving a bribe by an agent of a local government and four counts of willful failure to file a tax return, according to the indictment. His case is pending.

Johnson has agreed to cooperate with the U.S. attorney's office in their investigation or prosecution of another individual, according to the plea agreement. In return, federal prosecutors will ask the judge to give Johnson a more lenient sentence.

He faces up to 10 years in prison, federal court records state.

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