Detroit-area mayor indicted on bribery charge alleging he took $50,000 to facilitate property sale

DETROIT (AP) — A suburban Detroit mayor was indicted Tuesday on a federal bribery charge for allegedly demanding $50,000 in bribes to facilitate the sale of a city property to an outside party.

Inkster Mayor Patrick Wimberly allegedly accepted the bribes from September 2022 through this past April, the indictment said. The bribes began at $5,000 monthly until Wimberly demanded more and they rose to $10,000 monthly, prosecutors said in a news release.

Wimberly, 49, could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if convicted.

“Elected public officials owe a duty to their community to act in the citizens’ best interest,” U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison said in a news release. “Our office is committed to prosecuting those public officials who betray the public trust by accepting bribes.”

A telephone message seeking comment was left Tuesday at Wimberly’s office. Online court records did not list an attorney who might comment on his behalf.

Wimberly, a former city council member and marijuana entrepreneur, was elected in 2019. He is running for reelection in the Nov. 8 general election.