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Press Release

Suburban Business Owner Sentenced to a Year in Federal Prison in Connection With Public Corruption Investigation in Markham

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — A federal judge in Chicago has sentenced a suburban business owner to a year and a day in prison for lying to federal law enforcement about his knowledge of a bribery scheme involving the mayor of Markham.

THOMAS SUMMERS, 68, of Homer Glen, was convicted last year of making false statements to the FBI and IRS.  The agents interviewed Summers in November 2016 as part of a public corruption investigation involving bribes paid to then-Markham Mayor DAVID WEBB JR. by contractors seeking to maintain or expand business with the south suburb.  During the interview, Summers lied to agents when he denied having knowledge about bribe payments.

Webb, who served as mayor of Markham from 2001 to 2017, pleaded guilty and admitted participating in a bribery scheme.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 11, 2021.

U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman imposed Summers’s sentence Tuesday after a hearing in federal court in Chicago.  In handing down the sentence, Judge Gettleman emphasized the severity and impact of public corruption and the need for general deterrence. 

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago.  The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission provided valuable assistance.

“Defendant showed no respect for the law,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven J. Dollear and Georgia N. Alexakis argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum in the Summers case.  “He sat across from federal agents and lied.  He lied to protect himself and Webb, and the corrupt relationship they shared.”

Two other defendants – Mokena-based TOWER CONTRACTING LLC and its president, MICHAEL JARIGESE, 67, of Frankfort – were also convicted as part of the federal investigation.  Jarigese was sentenced in March to three years and five months in prison, while Tower Contracting was fined $1.2 million and sentenced to four years of probation.

Updated October 1, 2020

Public Corruption