DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Federal authorities have accused a former contractor with the Detroit Public Library of bribery in an effort to win a $1.5 million contract.
James Henley was indicted Thursday on charges he bribed a library official in 2007 and 2008. He also has been charged with failing to file tax returns for those years.
Henley allegedly created a company to obtain an information technology contract.
According to court documents, Henley is charged with conspiring with the official to “corruptly reward and influence the public official in connection with a series of contracts between the Detroit Public Library and Henley’s business.”
The indictment, which details various bank transactions, says an unnamed official helped the company win a bid to update the library’s computer system — and Henley secretly paid $600,000 in kickbacks to the library official.
The indictment comes two months after the FBI raided the library’s main office and removed files and computer equipment. No library employee or official has been charged.
Jonathan Kinloch, president of the Detroit Library Commission, has said the raid had nothing to do with $1,000 trash cans that were purchased during a 2010 renovation, as some had speculated. Nonetheless, Kinloch said that purchase, along with $1,000 chairs, is a good reason for a “total review” of library management.
The Associated Press left phone and email messages Friday for Henley.
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