The Justice Department spent years investigating corruption in Jackson County, uncovering a kick-back scheme at the top of local government. Former county executive Mike Sanders and his chief of staff Calvin Williford were both involved in using campaign funds for lavish trips and political dirty tricks. While both admitted to the crimes, Williford received a significantly lower sentence due to his cooperation with investigators. The sentencing documents, which had been sealed, have now been obtained, but many questions remain unanswered.
The Investigation into Corruption in Jackson County
The Justice Department spent years investigating corruption in Jackson County, specifically focusing on a kick-back scheme at the top of local government. Former county executive Mike Sanders and his chief of staff Calvin Williford were both implicated in using campaign funds for personal gain. They used the money for extravagant trips to Las Vegas and to pay individuals to remove the yard signs of political rivals. While Sanders received a longer sentence, Williford’s reduced sentence was attributed to his cooperation with investigators. However, many questions still surround the case as the sentencing documents have been sealed and only recently obtained.
The Kick-Back Scheme and Lavish Spending
Both Sanders and Williford pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection to the kick-back scheme. The government revealed that they used campaign funds to finance their lavish trips and engage in political dirty tricks. The money was taken from Sanders’ campaign account and not from taxpayers. The scheme involved using the ill-gotten gains to fund trips to Las Vegas and pay people to remove the yard signs of political opponents. The extent of their spending and the impact it had on local politics is still unclear.
Williford’s Cooperation and Reduced Sentence
While both Sanders and Williford admitted to the same crimes, Williford received a significantly lower sentence. The government stated that his cooperation with investigators was the reason for the reduction. However, the details of his cooperation and the individuals being investigated remain unknown. The recently obtained sentencing documents may shed some light on this, but many questions still remain unanswered. The sealed documents hold crucial information that could provide further insight into the corruption in Jackson County.