Vicksburg Mayor Faces Federal Bribery Charge

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  • JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Vicksburg Mayor Paul Winfield has been arrested on a federal bribery charge based on allegations he sought a $10,000 payment for a city contract.

    The 39-year-old Democrat was scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate judge in U.S. District Court in Jackson on Thursday afternoon.

    The criminal complaint in the case says a confidential source called Winfield on July 17, 2012, to discuss “pre-event disaster contracts” with the city.

    The two allegedly met at a Jackson restaurant the next day, and the informant asked Winfield what it would take to get the contract.

    “Winfield responded ‘Ten’ and held up 10 fingers, signifying $10,000,” the complaint says.

    Winfield agreed to take half the money up front and the rest after the contract was awarded, according to the complaint. The complaint says the source paid Winfield $5,000 in hundred dollar bills that had been provided by the FBI.

    In August, Winfield called the informant and said he owed $4,300 in taxes and was “in a bind,” the complaint said. They later met in the parking lot of a McDonald’s in Natchez, where the source gave Winfield another $2,000 and promised to give him the remaining $3,000 when the contract was awarded, according to the complaint.

    Daniel McMullen, the FBI special agent in charge in Mississippi, said in a news release that Winfield was arrested Wednesday afternoon at his home. He was held overnight in the Madison County Jail in Canton.

    If convicted, Winfield could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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