Businessman Guilty of Bribing Georgia Commissioner

Businessman Guilty of Bribing Georgia Commissioner

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Businessman Guilty of Bribing Georgia Commissioner

On October 1, 2012, the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia announced that Mark Gary, of Duluth, pleaded guilty to bribing the Gwinnett County Commissioner in 2009 in order to secure rights to build a waste transfer station.  

Ricky Maxwell, the Acting Agent in Charge for the FBI Atlanta Field Office, states, “This case illustrates that those who entice or bribe public officials will quickly find themselves as defendants in a public corruption investigation and prosecution.”

According to information presented in the court, Mark Gary wanted to develop a $4 million solid waste transfer station around October of 2008.  The facility acted as a way station during the trash collection process and transferred trash from haulers to the appropriate landfills.  Gary submitted the necessary documents to obtain county approvals and permits, but the permits eventually needed approval from the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners.  

According to the FBI, Shirley Lasseter was elected as the District 1 representative for the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, and Gary helped get her elected.  After she was elected, she almost immediately appointed Gary to the Gwinnett County Planning Commission.  

Then, between March and April of 2009, Gary spoke with Lasseter and her son about the application for the waste transfer station.  Gary offered money to Lasseter and her son, John Fanning, if Lasseter voted to approve the application.  

Lasseter voted to approve the waste transfer station on April 28, 2009, and Gary then paid her son $30,000 in June of 2009.  

Gary was charged on September 5, 2012 for trying to bribe Lasseter and her son.  He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.  His sentencing is scheduled for January 2, 2013, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas W. Gilfillan is prosecuting the case.  

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

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