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FBI Arrests Two Forsyth Council Members for Taking Bribes | Crime

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FBI Arrests Two Forsyth Council Members for Taking Bribes
Crime

Two Forsyth city councilmen were arrested Tuesday on federal charges of public corruption.

A news release from the US Attorney's office says councilmen Desi Hansford and James Edward Calloway allegedly solicited a $20,000 bribe from a service provider vying for a city contract.

Calloway, 60, has been a councilman for more than 20 years. Hansford, 35, has been a councilman for six years.

Earlier Tuesday, 13WMAZ's Judy Le obtained a copy of the federal affidavit against Hansford.

According to the affidavit, the alleged corruption started in December when a company's city contract was up for renewal. Hansford and co-defendant asked for $20,000 from the company's president to win the bid.

The FBI does not name the company but says Hansford is chairman of a council committee that oversees city utilities.

According to the FBI affidavit, the unnamed co-defendant called a company official and said the city was leaning toward awarding the contract to a different company.

The co-defendant said that, if "Company A" paid $20,000, the council would vote to let them keep the contract.

The affidavit says he told the company that "there was a city councilman (Defendant HANSFORD) who needed some money."

In a recorded conversation, the affidavit says, the co-defendant advised the company official "not to worry about the contract and indicates that defendant HANSFORD can be kept on board now that he will receive money from the bribe."

The company told the FBI about the bribe, which was to be made in two payments of $10,000 dollars each.  

The first transaction happened at the Travel America Truck Stop off Interstate 75 near Jackson. The FBI provided the company with the money and wired their car to record the conversation.

A second payment was made a week later. 

Hansford and his co-defendant split the cash evenly. 

The news release from the US Attorney's office says Calloway was involved in soliciting the alleged bribe.

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