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        The prosecution of public corruption is a top priority for the U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Florida, which is home to the state capitol in Tallahassee and several of the state’s largest public universities.  Public corruption is a breach of the public’s trust by government officials who use their public office to obtain personal gain.  It is a violation of federal law for any federal, state, or local government official to ask for or receive anything of value in exchange for, or because of, any official act.  Under federal law, any person who offers or pays a bribe is also guilty.  These crimes are the result of secret deals, sealed with whispered conversations, quick handshakes, and money paid “under the table.”  Because of the secretive nature of bribes and shady deals, such crimes are often difficult to detect and even more difficult to prove without the assistance of concerned citizens.  As a result, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has established a task force to target public corruption.

        As Special Agent in Charge James Casey of the FBI’s Jacksonville Division pointed out:  “The vast majority of elected and appointed officials render honest service.  But we encourage the public to help us hold accountable those who use their positions for their own enrichment, and those contractors who misuse the taxpayers’ money.”

        Those whom the public entrusts with authority are expected to serve their constituents with integrity and honor.  Greed and self-interest have no place in public service, and violations of the law will be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted.  We look forward to joining with federal law enforcement and the public to bring justice to those who violate the law at the expense of the public’s trust.

        Details regarding the various types of public corruption investigated by the FBI can be found online at the following website:  http://jacksonville.fbi.gov/priorities.htm.  Citizens may also report concerns by calling the FBI’s public corruption hotline for reporting tips at 1-888-722-1225 or by sending an e-mail to Jacksonville@ic.fbi.gov, placing “Public Corruption Tip” in the subject line.

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