Judge upholds bribery conviction against ex-Portage mayor

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A federal judge has upheld the conviction of a former northwestern Indiana mayor that he solicited and accepted a $13,000 bribe from a trucking company.

The judge rejected arguments from former Portage Mayor James Snyder to throw out the guilty verdict reached by a jury after his trial in March.

Snyder’s attorneys argued the jury verdict was improperly based on false testimony and speculation but U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kennelly ruled Friday that Snyder received a fair trial, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

Snyder, a Republican, was elected to his second term as mayor in 2015 and was indicted on the bribery charges in 2016. Prosecutors alleged that Snyder sought the bribe for steering $1.125 million in city contracts to the company.

Another jury convicted Snyder of bribery in 2019. A different federal judge threw out that verdict on grounds aggressive tactics by prosecutors denied Snyder a fair trial.

Snyder’s sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 25.

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