Final Muncie corruption sentencing reset for January




  • In US
  • 2022-12-09 11:14:05Z
  • By The Star Press
 

MUNCIE, Ind. - The final case remaining from a federal investigation of local corruption that began in 2014 will not be resolved until 2023.

Local contractor Tony Franklin - one of five people charged in a bribery conspiracy involving Muncie Sanitary District contracts - was scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 7 in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis.

However, the sentencing hearing for Franklin - who pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to commit wire fraud - has been rescheduled for Jan. 3.

The Delaware County businessman's attorney had requested the delay.

A total of seven other defendants - including former Mayer Dennis Tyler - have been convicted for their roles in corruption in the Tyler administration and the sanitary district.

More:Grigsby says she was told to run Muncie Sanitary District business past 'Phil or Dennis'

Three of Franklin's co-defendants in that bribery conspiracy - former sanitary officials Nikki Grigsby and Tracy Barton, and former Muncie police officer Jess Neal - saw their cases resolved this year.

Neal received a two-year sentence in February, but was released from a federal prison in Kentucky seven months later. He reportedly remains on probation.

Grigsby, who received a one-year sentence in May, remains incarcerated at a federal prison in Lexington, Kentucky. Barton was placed on probation after entering a guilty plea in October.

The fifth co-defendant in the bribery case, former local Democratic Party chairman Phil Nichols, died in September while the case against him was still pending.

According to court documents, the scheme to solicit payment from contractors hoping to win sanitary district contracts- referred to by some participants as "The Program" - began in March 2015 and continued until October 2018.

Douglas Walker is a news reporter at The Star Press. Contact him at 765-213-5851 or at dwalker@muncie.gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Muncie Star Press: Last sentencing in Muncie corruption probe postponed until January

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