Attorneys presented their opening statements Tuesday in the retrial of former Portage mayor James Snyder on a soliciting bribes charge painting very different pictures of how he received $13,000.
Prosecutors argued that former Snyder violated his oath as mayor when he became personally involved in the bidding process for garbage trucks and accepted a bribe. Snyder’s attorneys argued that Snyder was delivering on a campaign promise to automate the garbage collection process and worked for the $13,000.
A jury convicted Snyder, 42, of taking a $13,000 bribe in exchange for contracts to sell five garbage trucks to the city and using a shell company to hid income assets from the IRS while owing back personal and business taxes in February 2019. The jury acquitted Snyder for a third count that alleged he took a $12,000 bribe to get a company on Portage’s tow list.
On Nov. 27, 2019, Judge Joseph Van Bokklelen granted a new trial on the soliciting bribes charge. The retrial will be heard by U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kennelly, with the Northern District of Illinois, who is the third judge to review the case.
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(Photo: Kyle Telechan / Post-Tribune)