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Former Muncie mayor faces bribery sentencing next month

October 6, 2021 GMT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A former Indiana mayor is set to find out his punishment next month on federal charges of taking a $5,000 bribe in exchange for steering city projects to a contractor.

Former Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler reached an agreement with federal prosecutors in May to plead guilty to a count of theft of government funds.

In the plea agreement, Tyler admitted to receiving the bribe in 2015 to direct nearly $110,000 in demolition work to an unnamed company. The work was part of an $8.3 million housing development partly funded by federal grants intended for military veterans who were homeless.

The plea agreement calls for Tyler to pay restitution while leaving the length of any prison sentence up to U.S. District Court Judge James Sweeney at a Nov. 10 hearing in Indianapolis, The (Muncie) Star Press reported. The theft charge carries a maximum 10 years in prison.

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Tyler, a Democrat, was Muncie’s mayor for eight years, first winning election in 2011 after seven years as a state legislator. He did not seek reelection in 2019 and was indicted in the bribery case just weeks before his term ended.

Six other people charged after a federal probe of corruption in the Muncie Sanitary District and Tyler’s administration have signed plea agreements and are awaiting sentencing.