Canton City Officials and Former Canton City Engineer Indicted in Bribery Scheme
Jackson, Miss. – A federal grand jury in Jackson returned an indictment in December 2021 charging three City of Canton officials, and the former city engineer, with criminal conspiracy charges relating to bribery and wire fraud. That indictment was unsealed yesterday as two of the defendants, Eric Gilkey and Andrew Grant, pleaded guilty to conspiring with Cleveland Anderson and Rudolph M. (“Rudy”) Warnock, Jr. in the bribery scheme.
According to court documents, Warnock is charged with having directed payments and rewards to Anderson, Gilkey, and Grant in exchange for preferential treatment that resulted in lucrative city engineering contracts for Warnock. The “gratuities” supplied by Warnock included thousands of dollars in cash, concert tickets, and football tickets in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Gilkey, 55, and Grant, 38, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Bribery. They are scheduled to be sentenced on February 23, 2022, and face a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.
Anderson is charged with two counts of Conspiracy to Commit Bribery in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. If convicted, Anderson faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison as to each count.
Warnock is charged with two counts of Conspiracy to Commit Bribery in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, one count of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, and one count of Wire Fraud in violation of the Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343. If convicted, Warnock faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison as to the Conspiracy to Commit Bribery Charges. Warnock faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison as to the charges relating to Wire Fraud.
Warnock and Anderson will make their initial court appearances on a future date before a U.S. Magistrate Judge.
U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca of the Southern District of Mississippi; and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of the Federal Bureau of Investigation made the announcement.
The FBI is investigating the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.