Former Markham mayor indicted on corruption charges

By Bill Dwyer For Chronicle Media

Markham’s former mayor was indicted with two other individuals Nov. 30 on charges he took bribes from city vendors to direct contract business their way. (Photo courtesy of City of Markham)

The former mayor of Markham was indicted with two other individuals Nov. 30 on charges he took bribes from city vendors to direct contract business their way.

The very next day former Markham mayor David Webb Jr., 69, was sued in federal civil court by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), for violations of the antifraud provisions of federal securities laws.

Webb, of Markham, who was mayor of Markham from 2001 to May 3, 2017, is charged with one count of honest services wire fraud and one count of willfully filing a false tax return.

While no arraignment has yet been scheduled for anyone accused, a filing in the SEC’s civil suit states that David Webb “has entered into a written agreement to plead guilty to criminal conduct relating to certain matters alleged in the complaint in this action.”

The federal criminal indictment accuses Webb of soliciting and pocketing at least $300,000 in bribes from contractors in the construction and financial services industries between 2010 and 2017.

Prosecutors say Webb ran the bribe money through shell companies he and his family set up. Two companies incorporated in 2003 and 2009 by members of Webb’s family never did construction work of any kind.

The indictment identifies those companies as KAT Remodeling and KAT Realty. Prosecutors say bribe payments made by check to KAT Remodeling and KAT Realty were “falsely and fraudulently” recorded by the companies bribing Webb as expenses associated with a subcontractor.

In 2012, Webb allegedly approached contractor Michael Jarigese, the president of Tower Contracting, LLC and solicited $100,000. The company, which has done numerous projects in Markham, was paid more than $14.9 million for its work on a senior living center project, issued two checks to Web totaling $85,000, and Jarigese personally contributed another $150,000 to Webb’s political campaign or Markham festivals Webb sponsored.

In return, prosecutors say, Webb took action in his capacity as mayor to award Tower Contracting a $3.4 million contract for the “Roesner Park” project, the construction of a new 9,000 square foot park district office building that included a renovated gymnasium surrounded by new trees, landscaping and sidewalks.

Jarigese, 64, of Frankfort, and Tower Construction, which is based in Mokena, are each charged with nine counts of honest services wire fraud and one count of federal program bribery.

Also charged in the indictment was Thomas Summers, who owns Alsterda Cartage and Construction Co., Inc., an Alsip-based sewer subcontractor that has handled water and sewer installation and repair projects. Summers, 65, of Homer Glen, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery.

Prosecutors allege that Summers and his company gave Webb seven checks totaling $174,000 between 2008 and 2012. In return, Summers’ company purportedly was assigned roles in city projects at Webb’s direction that included sub-contractor roles in the Roesner Park project and the Senior Living Complex project.

The SEC is suing Webb civilly because the city issued $5.5 million in municipal bonds to fund the Roesner Park project.

“Markham’s City Council would have considered information regarding Webb’s pay-to-play scheme as important in its deliberations surrounding the authorization of Markham’s Bond offering,” the SEC complaint states. One investor in those Markham bonds told SEC staff that it did not know about Webb’s pay-to-play scheme when it purchased the Bonds but “the existence of corruption would have been an important fact for it to know prior to its purchase of the Bonds.”

The SEC filing indicates that Webb signed an executed “Consent of Defendant” in which he

has agreed to the terms of the proposed judgment and “waived findings of fact and conclusions of law and waived any right to appeal.”





—- Former Markham mayor indicted on corruption charges —-