Friday, July 20, 2007

Former corrections chief and contractors indicted

Donald Snyder Jr., former director of the Illinois Department of Corrections, was indicted on federal charges of receiving about $50,000 in illegal kickbacks from two lobbyists who represented health-care companies holding large contracts with the state. The indictments stem from a federal investigation, “Operation Safe Road,” that led to the corruption conviction of former Gov. George Ryan. The former governor appointed Snyder, of Pittsfield, to his post that ran from 1999 to 2003.

“As a top state official, Mr. Snyder was bound by various rules governing his acceptance of gifts or favors of any kind,” said U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in a press release. “He was forbidden from receiving cash kickbacks from anyone, much less from lobbyists representing companies doing millions of dollars in business with IDOC.”

Lobbyist John Robinson of Barrington Hills in northern Illinois represented an Illinois-based company that held a multi-million dollar contract with the state to provide health-care services for Illinois inmates. He also is the former Cook County undersheriff. Between 1996 and 2003, he allegedly arranged a contract with the health-care company to receive $2,500 a month in addition to 5 percent of the company’s income from contracts with the Department of Corrections. The indictment says Robinson expected to get an increased payment of $4,500 a month as soon as the health-care company’s state contract exceeded $4 million.

Larry Sims of Pleasant Plains in central Illinois, represented a Pennsylvania health-care company that also held multi-million dollar contracts with the corrections department. He allegedly co-schemed with Snyder and Robinson to file false statements with the state to hide the illegal payments to Snyder.

Snyder and Robinson were each charged with five counts of mail fraud, one carrying a maximum sentence of one year in prison and four others carrying up to 20 years in prison. Sims was charged with one count of perjury for allegedly lying to a grand jury during the investigation, an offense carrying a maximum punishment of five years in prison. The indictment also seeks $50,000 from Snyder. If convicted, all three also could have to pay a $250,000 fine on each count.


Anonymous,  5:25 PM  

Snyder should be prosecuted to the fullest extent for his part in accepting kickbacks from contractors. The medical services provided to our inmates is substandard, even now. It's deplorable that a trusted Department Director would personally profit from the wholesaling of crucial services to IDOC inmates.

The current administration continues to receive outrageous kickbacks on state contracts. Maybe Mr. Fitzgerald could investigate the absurd amounts of money paid by
Consolidated Communications to retain it's exclusive contract for inmate telephone calls. Families of inmates are being gouged for collect calls while the DOC reaps huge profits and commissions.

The IDOC is operating on a barebones budget and everyone is suffering - inmates as well as staff.

Unknown 7:13 AM  

There was a story in the Moline paper how the prisons don't have enough paper towels. So staff and inmates are getting Staph infection because they can't clean things.

This man Snyder had a person Plane & Pilot.

Extreme Wisdom 9:28 AM  

Every School Board Member who has a relative on ANY education payroll is partaking in the same type of corruption.

Every State official who controls "jobs" is partaking in the same behavior.

Every Municipal Trustee who takes campaign contributions from Builders, developers, and or other financial interests is right on the edge, regardless of whether they took bribes.

Capital Development Board Lawyers who also act as attys for school districts, and rubber stamp unwarranted "loopholes" in building projects rejected by the voters are as corrupt as Snyder.

Architects and Bond houses who donate to referendum campaigns to keep the education waste at high levels are no different than Snyder.

Illinois is merely the leading indicator for the massive corruption that is metastizing at every level of American Society.

Snyder is only one of the most obvious examples.

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