Former Markham mayor facing federal bribery charges

SHARE Former Markham mayor facing federal bribery charges

David Webb | Sun-Times file photo

The former mayor of south suburban Markham has been indicted by a federal grand jury for soliciting and receiving $300,000 in bribes from construction and financial services contractors while he was in office.

David Webb Jr., who served as Markham’s Mayor from 2001 until earlier this year, is accused of seeking and obtaining the bribes from vendors in the form of cash payments, campaign contributions, donations to city programs and checks made payable to shell companies run by the former mayor and his family, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois announced Friday.

Webb, 69, was charged with single counts of honest wire fraud and willfully filing a false tax return. The indictment also charges an owner and an executive of two companies who allegedly bribed Webb, as well as one of the companies.

As part of the scheme, Webb helped the vendors maintain business with the city or obtain new contracts, including the $3.4 million renovation of Roesner Park and a $15 million senior living facility that bears Webb’s name, prosecutors said.

In 2008, Webb allegedly solicited money from 65-year-old Thomas Summers, the owner of Alsterda Cartage and Construction Co., prosecutors said.

Over the next five years, Summers and his company allegedly provided Webb with at least seven checks totaling roughly $174,000, prosecutors said. The checks were made payable to a member of Webb’s family or one of the shell companies controlled by the former mayor and his relatives, which “performed no actual work.” Summers also provided Webb with cash bribes and contributed to his campaign events.

In exchange, Webb allegedly aided Alsterda in obtaining contracts for city projects, prosecutors said.

Summers, of Homer Glen, was charged with a single count of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery, prosecutors said.

Webb also solicited and received bribes from 64-year-old Michael Jarigese, the general contractor for Tower Contracting LLC., which was awarded the senior center and park projects, prosecutors said.

The former mayor asked Jarigese for $100,000 during a meeting in early 2012, prosecutors said. At the time, the company was seeking to expand its portfolio of Markham businesses, which already included the multi-million dollar senior center.

Jarigese later gave Webb two checks issued by Tower that totaled $85,000, prosecutors said. The checks, which were made payable to one of the shell corporations at Webb’s direction, were fraudulently recorded in the company’s records as payment for contracting work and a donation to a festival in Markham. The company also gave more than $150,000 to the mayor’s campaign and events throughout the city.

After receiving the bribes, Webb allegedly awarded Tower the multi-million dollar park project, prosecutors said.

Jarigese, of Frankfort, and Tower, which is based in Mokena, were each charged with nine counts of honest services wire fraud and a single count of federal program bribery, prosecutors said.

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