Friday, November 17, 2023

Cleve Anderson Trial Postponed

U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate postponed Cleve Anderson's  bribery trial to February 5.  Anderson and co-defendant Rudy Warnock were supposed to go to trial next month in U.S. District Court. 

A federal grand jury indicted Anderson for two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery.   Anderson is a former Canton Alderman and former Chairman of the Canton Municipal Utilities Board of Commissioners.  The grand jury also indicted former Canton Municipal Utilities engineer Rudy Warnock for conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud.  

Anderson and Warnock filed motions to postpone their December 4 trial.  The Justice Department did not oppose the motions.  Judge Wingate granted Anderson's motion but has not yet ruled on Warnock's request.  

Synopsis of Case

A federal grand jury indicted former Canton Municipal Utilities engineer Rudy Warnock for conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud and Cleveland Anderson for two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery  in December 2021. The indictments were unsealed nearly a year later on November 22, 2022.  

The grand jury also indicted former Canton Alderman Andrew Grant and Canton Alderman Eric Gilkey for Conspiracy to commit bribery (2 counts), conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud in December 2021. The two defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.

The indictment alleges the defendants bilked CMU from the beginning of 2016 to the end of 2017.  Commissioner Anderson moved to hire Warnock as CMU's civil engineer on August 16, 2016.  

The indictment charges Warnock made regular payments to Anderson, Gilkey, and Grant in exchange for contracts and "favorable treatment" at CMU. 

Some of the Warnock gifts included tickets to luxury suites at New Orleans Saints games and concerts in the Crescent City.     

The indictment charges Warnock deposited a check "in the amount of $9,200, made payable to J.M. through the automated clearinghouse system of the Federal Reserve Bank System.  Part of the proceeds of this transaction were given to defendants Grant and Gilkey in the form of $4,000 cash each.  

The maximum penalty for the conspiracy to commit bribery is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  The maximum penalties for the wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud charges are 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Anderson pulled a little bit of bait and switch with Judge Wingate. The defendant submitted a petition to plead guilty in February.  U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate held a hearing on September 26 to accept the plea but that is where things got squirrely for Anderson.

 Judge Wingate denied the petition as he decreed: 

On September 13, 2023, defendant CLEVELAND ANDERSON appeared before the Court with the stated purpose of changing his prior plea of “not guilty” to a plea of “guilty.” The Court questioned Defendant Anderson concerning the essential elements of the offense charged in Count 1 of the indictment, and Defendant Anderson denied that he acted corruptly or had corrupt intent as required by the elements of the charge in Count 1 of the indictment. Consequently, the Court did not accept Defendant Anderson’s plea of guilty, and set this case for trial on December 4, 2023 along with co-Defendant Rudolph M. Warnock, Jr.



Anonymous said...

Common practice. Sweat the major defendant, letting him think about Anderson's testimony.

Both will plead to one count of some pissant charge.

Meanwhile, Warnock is fat and happy in bankruptcy with millions socked away...provided by the citizens of Madison County.

Rudy whistles: I get by with a little help from my friends.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the delay gives him time to spill his guts on the crooked bastards running Madison Co. government.

Anonymous said...

Making us proud up here in Canton.

Anonymous said...

What you see here is the Tip of iceberg-

Anonymous said...

CMU sucks worst utility in the metro

Anonymous said...

10:13, you should try out Entergy.

Anonymous said...

12:49 - You're not that fellow who just ran for governor, are you?

No, most likely just another rural yokel who thinks his bill ought to be half what it is.

Anonymous said...

The game is about who will talk about the goods on the big man in DC or the elected democrats currently in office! If you continue to spill the goods you will walk. At least that’s what is coming from people in the know. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Agree! The big man Bennie and his car wash friends should be worried. As far as local Ds my money is on rue man flipping.

Anonymous said...

Bennie has nothing to do with this canton municipal situation. He's corrupt, but he has no interest in this sort of penny-ante stuff.

Anonymous said...

That’s what you think 2:23. I bet you don’t even know about Rayburn. Go back to sleep.

Anonymous said...

Deals already been cut. Two walk and 3 others get indicted.

Anonymous said...

Innocent until proven guilty. I bet the new US Attorney appreciates this. It’s clear that some previous US Attorneys were too busy trying to break into politics instead of protecting the innocent.

Anonymous said...

Warnock was indicted because he supported Jim Hood when Mike Hurst ran against him. He also supported Stacey Pickering in the same election cycle when Mary Hawkins ran against him. After Hurst and Hawkins lost they plotted to get Hurst appointed as US Attorney and the payback was Warnock’s indictment. I’m just speculating but I’ve seen this before as a long time resident.

Anonymous said...

Hmm if you’re right 7:53 the trail should be very interesting. Can’t wait to see who’s called to the stand.

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