Former Canton city officials, engineer indicted in bribery scheme
CANTON, Miss. (WLBT) - A federal grand jury has indicted three former Canton city officials and the former city engineer.
The indictments were handed down last December but remained sealed until just yesterday.
The four men have been indicted on bribery and wire fraud charges.
The three former city officials were allegedly taking bribes from former city engineer Rudy Warnock, who now faces a maximum of 25 years in prison.
“I was as shocked and as overwhelmed as any Cantonian,” Canton mayor William Truly.
A federal grand jury accused Warnock of directing payments and rewards to two former Canton aldermen and the former commissioner with the Canton Municipal Utility Agency.
Andrew Grant and Eric Gilkey – the two former aldermen – and Cleveland Anderson – the former commissioner on the CMU board, are all accused of taking bribes in the form of concert tickets, football tickets, and thousands of dollars in cash.
All of this occurred between January 1st of 2016 and December 31st of the following year, most of which was before Mayor William Truly took office.
“Rudy Warnock remained the engineer from Arnel Bolden’s administration up until my administration, in which we actually switched from Rudy Warnock back to Derek Starlin,” Mayor Truly said.
Warnock is no stranger to legal challenges.
In 2016, he sued Madison Co. for copyright infringement for using his engineering plans.
Warnock was also the center of a state auditor report back in 2010.
We asked Mayor Truly why Canton would want to work with Warnock knowing all this.
“The way this works is that you basically need a majority vote to anyone, regardless of that individual’s past. So there you are, and that’s unfortunate. But you are correct that folks were aware of his past, and so here we are today,” said Mayor Truly.
Grant and Gilkey - the two former aldermen - pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery Monday.
They are scheduled to be sentenced on February 23rd, and face a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.
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