Muncie Mayor Arrested by FBI in Corruption Case

Paula Liu
By Paula Liu
November 18, 2019USshare
Muncie Mayor Arrested by FBI in Corruption Case
Mayor Dennis Tyler of Muncie, Indiana. (City of Muncie)

Dennis Tyler, the Democratic mayor of Muncie, Indiana, has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Nov. 18, according to multiple reports.

They served the arrest warrant at Tyler’s home around 7:30 a.m., said Indianapolis FBI spokeswoman Chris Bavender. She stated that Tyler is currently in FBI custody, CNN reported.

“I can confirm an arrest warrant was executed at the home of Mayor Dennis Tyler this morning, and he is currently in custody,” Bevander said, according to IndyStar.

The IndyStar reported that Tyler was charged with stealing government money, according to federal court files. In those files, the mayor is accused of accepting $5,000 from Tracy Barton, the superintendent of sewer maintenance and engineering for the Muncie Sanitary District, for awarding city contracts.

According to CNN, the mayor was under scrutiny back in 2016 when he was under investigation for federal corruption. The Star Press initially reported that Craig Nichols, the former Muncie building commissioner, was being investigated, along with the Muncie Sanitary District, for potential wrongdoing. Nichols was charged in 2017 with theft, wire fraud, and money laundering. CNN reported that according to a federal document, Nichols was trying to award contracts to his own company. The investigation that the FBI launched further led the investigators to five other people, all of whom were indicted, CNN reported.

According to the news outlet, Tyler was the fourth person to be arrested in relation to the federal corruption case this year. The other three were Rodney A. Barber, Debra Nicole Grigsby, and Tony Franklin, IndyStar reported.

Barber was charged with two counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, as well as giving false statements to authorities, the news outlet reported. Grigsby and Franklin, the owners of Franklin Building and Design, were indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, making false statements, and falsification of documents in a federal investigation.

According to IndyStar, two other people involved, Jeffrey Burke and Tracy Barton, were arrested back in 2018, and are expected to stand trial in early 2020. The news outlet reported that Burke’s trial is scheduled to be held on Jan. 27, 2020, whereas Barton’s trial is slated for April 13, 2020.

Barber’s trial is scheduled for March 23, 2020, while Grigsby and Franklin’s trials are scheduled for Feb. 10, 2020, IndyStar reported.

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