Thursday, October 12, 2023

Inkster mayor indicted on bribery charges

Patrick Wimberly
Inkster Mayor Patrick Wimberly, 49, has been indicted on federal bribery charges, and is accused of receiving $50,000 from a developer to guarantee the purchase of city-owned property.

Wimberly, who was elected to his first term as mayor in 2019, is currently campaigning for re-election. Wimberly previously served on the Inkster City Council and as mayor is $105,000 annually. If convicted of the felony charges, he could face 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

According to the federal indictment, Wimberly first suggested on 2022 to the unnamed developer that he could ensure the successful purchase of the city-owned property. The indictment claims that in September of 2022, Wimberly demanded $100,000 from the developer to guarantee the sale of the unidentified site, telling the developer he could control the necessary approval vote of the seven-member city council. The developer allegedly agreed to pay Wimberly $5,000 a month, increasing the payments to $10,000 monthly, the indictment claims. Wimberly is accused of accepting $5,000 from the developer at that 2022 meeting.

The indictment claims that Wimberly received $5,000 in November and another $5,000 in early December. Wimberly requested the January payment from the developer in advance and in February demanded the increased $10,000 amount, according to the court filings. Wimberly continued to accept $10,000 payments until April, prosecutors said, meeting at the mayor's office and in his car. The alleged bribes were paid from September of 2022 through April of this year.

“Mr. Wimberly was elected to serve the people of Inkster, yet he prioritized his personal interests and greed over their needs,” Cheyvoryea Gibson, special agent in charge of the FBI in Michigan, said in a statement.

Wimberly's Inkster home is facing foreclosure, according to Wayne County records as he owes $6,966 in unpaid county property taxes. A Michigan state lien filed in 2018 for $2,979 in unpaid taxes was released in August. He has been assigned a court-appointed attorney, according to court documents.

“Elected public officials owe a duty to their community to act in the citizens' best interest,” Dawn Ison, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, said in a statement Tuesday.

Wimberly is currently campaigning for reelection against attorney Byron Nolen who served as mayor from 2015 until 2019. The mayoral election is set for Nov. 7.