Former Markham mayor gets 2 years in federal prison for bribery scheme

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CHICAGO (AP) — A man who admitted to authorities that he was taking part in a $300,000 bribery scheme while he was mayor of a financially struggling Chicago suburb was sentenced Tuesday to two years in federal prison.

The sentencing of former Markham Mayor David Webb comes more than three years after he pleaded guilty to “honest services” wire fraud and filing a false tax return. And it also follows Webb’s decision to alert federal authorities that he was taking bribes from contractors doing business with the city — something he said was prompted by an out-of-control gambling problem.

That admission to taking bribes made through campaign contributions, shell companies and even cash stuffed into coffee cups and his cooperation with federal authorities that included testifying at the criminal trials of two developers impressed U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman.

But while the judge was willing to impose a sentence 4 1/2 years shorter than the sentence prosecutors requested, he wasn’t willing to follow the recommendation by Webb’s attorneys to place the 73-year-old former mayor on home confinement.

“We want to make sure that anybody who is tempted to take a bribe…” Gettleman said, according to the Chicago Tribune, “there has to be a message sent.”

Before he was sentenced, Webb apologized.

“I know I let myself down, I let the people down, the ones that loved me the most and the people of Markham,” said Webb.

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