Latest Bribery, graft and conflicts of interest News

Madigan says he won't testify before special committee

Sep. 25, 2020 10:57 PM EDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, in Friday letter, said he won’t testify before a special committee looking into his conduct in connection with a utility’s alleged bribery scheme designed to curry favor with the Democrat. The committee formed at the request of...

FILE - In this March 25, 2019, file photo, Niki Williams, right, a college entrance exam administrator, arrives at federal court in Boston to face charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. Williams is scheduled to plead guilty to charges on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Former exam administrator pleads guilty in college scam

Sep. 25, 2020 4:59 PM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — A former college entrance exam administrator pleaded guilty Friday to taking bribes to help wealthy parents rig their kids' test scores as part of a college admissions bribery scheme. Niki Williams, 46, a former employee of the Houston Independent School District, is among about 40 people who...

Group seeks to block election grants to 5 Wisconsin cities

Sep. 25, 2020 1:06 PM EDT

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A conservative group says $6.3 million in grants meant to help with November's election in Wisconsin's five largest cities amount to bribery to increase voter turnout in Democratic strongholds, and it is is asking a federal judge to block the funding. Wisconsin Voters Alliance and seven...

FILE – In this Sept. 10, 2020 file photo, House lawmakers, from left, Rep. Laura Lanese, R-Grove City, Rep. Dave Greenspan, R-Westlake, Rep. Michael Skindell, D-Lakewood, and Rep. Michael O'Brien, D-Warren, testify before the House Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight in Columbus, Ohio. Greenspan was identified Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 to be the lawmaker who spoke with FBI agents about the passage of the legislation now tainted by a $60 million federal bribery probe. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins, File)

Texts show Ex-House speaker pushed lawmaker to pass bailout

Sep. 24, 2020 6:59 PM EDT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio lawmaker leading the charge to repeal a nuclear bailout bill was unsuccessfully pressured by the former House speaker to vote in favor of its passage, newly released records show. In late May 2019, former House Speaker Larry Householder texted his fellow GOP colleague Rep....

Convicted ex-speaker of House lands new job helping homeless

Sep. 24, 2020 3:35 PM EDT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The former speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, who spent time in federal prison for campaign finance violations, has been hired by an agency that serves the homeless. Gordon Fox has been named housing development manager at Crossroads RI, agency spokesman Mike Raia...

Charles Reader appears in court on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 in Chillicothe, Ohio. Reader pleaded guilty to five of 18 criminal charges ranging from theft to tampering with evidence relating to gambling and misusing funds while he was Pike County Sheriff.  (Robert McGraw/The Chillicothe Gazette via AP)

Suspended Ohio sheriff pleads guilty to 4 felony counts

Sep. 24, 2020 2:48 PM EDT

WAVERLY, Ohio (AP) — An investigation dating back more than a year culminated in a suspended Ohio sheriff pleaded guilty Thursday to multiple felonies, including theft in office. Charles Reader entered the pleas as part of a deal with prosecutors, who agreed to drop 13 remaining counts in an indictment...

US firm pleads guilty to paying bribes in Brazil, Venezuela

Sep. 23, 2020 4:06 PM EDT

MEDELLIN, Colombia (AP) — A major U.S. asphalt company agreed to pay $16.6 million in fines while pleading guilty Tuesday to federal charges that it paid millions in bribes to officials in Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela for almost a decade to win lucrative contracts. The plea agreement by Sargeant Marine...

FILE – This April 4, 2017, file photo shows the entrance to FirstEnergy Corp.'s Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio. Ohio’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit attempting to block the state’s nuclear plants from collecting fees on electricity bills that were authorized in a new law. Attorney General Dave Yost filed the lawsuit Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020 in Franklin County Court against Energy Harbor. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, file)

Ohio sues to block nuclear bailout money from being paid

Sep. 23, 2020 3:25 PM EDT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s attorney general sued Wednesday in an attempt to block the state’s nuclear plants from collecting fees on electricity bills that were authorized in a new law at the center of a $60 million federal bribery probe involving the former speaker of the Ohio House....

FILE – This April 4, 2017, file photo shows the entrance to FirstEnergy Corp.'s Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio. A nuclear plant bailout law should be repealed immediately, Democratic members of the Ohio House announced Wednesday, July 22, 2020, as a bribery scandal involving one of the state’s most powerful lawmakers unfolded over the law’s passage. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

Watchdog seeks more scrutiny of utility's spending in scheme

Sep. 22, 2020 5:18 PM EDT

CLEVELAND (AP) — Ohio's consumer watchdog has asked the state's regulator for public utilities to increase its scrutiny of FirstEnergy Corp.'s spending in what federal authorities say was a $60 million bribery scheme to obtain a $1 billion bailout for two struggling nuclear power plants owned at the time...

FILE - In this May 10, 2018, file photo, students walk past Sather Gate on the University of California at Berkeley campus in Berkeley, Calif. A California state audit found that the University of California wrongly admitted at least 64 wealthy students over the past six years as

State auditor: UC wrongly admitted well-connected students

Sep. 22, 2020 3:51 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The University of California “inappropriately admitted" at least 64 wealthy, mostly white students over the past six years as “favors to donors, family, and friends," according to an audit released Tuesday that found hundreds more questionable cases of students accepted...