Saligas Pleads Guilty To Bribery Charges
(photo courtesy Hammond Ramblings blog site)
Hammond City Councilman Al Salinas pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to taking more than $10,000 in kickbacks for steering city work to a contractor. In a statement, the 52-year-old Salinas said he fully accepted responsibility for the improper decisions and mistakes he made.
Salinas admitted in court to one count of steering city tree-trimming work to Dave’s Tree Service in exchange for more than $10,000 in cash payments from business owner David Johnson of Munster. Johnson pleaded guilty last October to a federal charge of paying the bribes to Salinas to receive city work funded through discretionary casino gaming money.
Prosecutors said Salinas would have to resign from the Hammond City Council upon the judge accepting his plea and handing down a sentence. Mayor Tom McDermott Jr., who is also Lake County’s Democratic Party chairman, will call a caucus of Democratic precinct committee members from the 2nd Council District to choose a new council member.