A former mayor in southwest Illinois has become the second area mayor to plead guilty to lying to federal agents investigating an illegal business arrangement between the two.
Former Red Bud Mayor Tim Lowry, who entered his plea on Friday, faces up to five years in federal prison when he returns to court for sentencing on Nov. 22. Red Bud, a community of roughly 3,500 people, is about 28 miles (45.06 kilometers) from St. Louis.
Investigators concluded that Lowry and the insurance company he worked for paid former Columbia Mayor Kevin Hutchinson nearly $16,000 in “referral commission” for recommending Lowry’s insurance company as carrier of Columbia’s casualty loss and workers compensation policies, according to the Belleville News-Democrat. And then, when questioned by federal agents, he denied making any such payments between 2016 and 2018.
“Lowry was aware that elected public officials are prohibited under the Illinois Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act, from being financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract work or business of the municipality,” according to a stipulation of fact filed with the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
Both Lowry and Hutchinson resigned from their mayoral jobs and Hutchinson pleaded guilty to similar charges and was sentenced in June to two years probation, fined $500 and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service.
The newspaper reported that neither Lowry nor Hutchison responded to requests for comment. Messages left by The Associated Press on Sunday for both former mayors were not immediately returned.