A former mayor in Indiana was sentenced to 21 months in prison for seeking and accepting a bribe from a trucking company in exchange for city contracts. 

Former Portage mayor, James Snyder, accepted the bribe back in 2013, but was not convicted until March of 2021. He was sentenced on Wednesday, October 13th. 

According to Fox 59 News, Snyder approached the trucking company requesting a bribe in exchange for $1.1 million in city contracts for the company. The former owner of Great Lakes Peterbilt trucking company claimed during the trial that he felt pressured to accept the deal when Snyder showed up to their office, and ended up giving Snyder $13,000 in exchange for the contacts. 

Throughout the trial, Snyder maintained his innocence and claimed that the money was in exchange for consulting work that he had even included on his income tax returns. Snyder’s attorney argued that, even if Snyder was guilty, the crime was “nonviolent and an example of aberrant behavior in an otherwise positive and law-abiding life.”

“A single transaction that involved a modest amount of money that is at worst a gratuity does not rise to the level of seriousness reflected in the scope and nature of (other corruption cases),” defense attorney Andrea Gambino wrote. 

Snyder was sentenced to 21 months in prison and one year of supervised release, far less than federal prosecutor’s suggested four year in prison. He was also convicted of tax evasion related to the private mortgage company he ran.

Snyder was elected as Mayor in 2011 but was removed from office in 2019 due to the allegations. He now has until January 5th to surrender for his prison term. 

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