Black Mayors Sidetracked, Accused and even Arrested for “Kickbacks, Scandal, Corruption”


Several Black Mayors have had their day in court over accusations of scandal, bribery, tax evasion, corruption and more… here is a list of those mayors (and not all of them) and what they were charged with…(click “Next” above or below to see the next segment)

Marion Berry

Almost 25 years later after revisiting the arrest, one had to wonder if Barry really was set up. He was a man early in his career who did not bite his tongue and he certainly made enemies because of it.

In late 1989, federal officials had been investigating Barry on suspicion of illegal drug possession and use; that Fall, they were able to make cases against several of Barry’s associates for cocaine use, including Charles Lewis, a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands who was implicated in a drug investigation involving Barry and a room at Washington’s Ramada Inn in December 1988.

Barry captured on a surveillance camera smoking crack cocaine during a joint sting operation by the FBI and D.C. Police. On January 18, 1990, Barry was arrested with a former girlfriend, Hazel Diane “Rasheeda” Moore, in a sting operation at the Vista Hotel by the FBI and D.C.

Police for crack cocaine use and possession. Moore was an FBI informant when she invited Barry to the hotel room and insisted that he smoke freebase cocaine before they had sex, while agents in another room watched on camera, waiting for Barry to accept her offer.

During the videotaped arrest, Barry says of Moore, “Bitch set me up…I shouldn’t have come up here…goddamn bitch.” (that was wrong on her part). Barry was charged with three felony counts of perjury, 10 counts of drug possession, and one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to possess cocaine, even though the cocaine belonged to the government informant.

The criminal trial ended in August 1990 with a conviction for only one possession incident, which had occurred in November 1989, and an acquittal on another. The jury hung on the remaining charges. Six or seven jurors (of whom two were white and the rest black) believed that the evidence against Barry was overwhelming and that he had displayed “arrogance” during the trial.

Against these, five black jurors were convinced that the prosecution had falsified evidence and testimony as part of a racist conspiracy against Barry, and even disputed factual findings that had not been contested in court.

After scolding the jurors for not following his instructions, the judge declared a mistrial on the remaining charges. As a result of his arrest and the ensuing trial, Barry decided in June 1990 not to seek re-election as mayor. Barry was sentenced to a six-month federal prison term in October 1990.

After his arrest and through his trial, Barry continued as mayor. He even ran as an independent for an at-large seat on the council against 74-year-old incumbent Hilda Mason.

Mason, a former ally who had helped Barry recuperate after the 1977 shooting, took the challenge personally, saying, “I do feel very disappointed in my grandson Marion Barry.” Mason was endorsed by a majority of the council members and by Jesse Jackson, who was running for shadow senator.

Barry was sentenced to six months in federal prison shortly before the November election, which he lost – in the first (and to date only) electoral loss of his career – despite doing well among the voters of Ward 8. His wife and son moved out of the house later that month. In October 1991, Barry surrendered himself at a correctional facility in Petersburg, Virginia.

While serving his time, Barry was accused of letting a woman perform oral sex on him in a prison waiting room, a charge Barry denied.

Barry was transferred to another federal prison in Loretto, Pennsylvania. Barry was released in April 1992.In May 2013, after Toronto mayor Rob Ford was allegedly videotaped smoking what is reported to be crack, parallels were made with the similarity to the 1990 incident.

Barry denied any similarity, stating: “Unless he was entrapped by the government, it’s not similar.” Barry was released from prison in 1992, and two months later filed papers to run for the Ward 8 city council seat in that year’s election. Barry ran under the slogan “He May Not Be Perfect, But He’s Perfect for D.C.”

He defeated the four-term incumbent, Wilhelmina Rolark, in the Democratic primary, winning 70 percent of the vote, saying he was “not interested in being mayor”, and went on to win the general election easily. source (click “Next” above or below for next Mayor)

James L. Usry

In 1984, republican mayor James L. Usry, was the first black man to be elected Atlantic City’s mayor but was defeated six years later in the middle of a municipal corruption scandal.

He was a former middle school teacher, principal and assistant schools superintendent who first ran for public office in 1982. Ironically the man he succeeded when he narrowly won the Mayor’s race, was under indictment for bribery and recalled from office. In 1990, Mr. Usry was also indicted on charges of conspiracy, official misconduct and bribery as part of a pedal ring.

The government’s case against him appeared to collapse yet once the word was out he eventually pleaded guilty to a campaign finance law violation and was sentenced to 60 hours’ community service working for the Salvation Army.

Leslie Thompson – Jonesboro, LA

The video tells the entire story. Hard to believe he was arrested for this….

Tony Mack – Trenton, NJ

To be arrested and replaced is one thing but to be arrested and replaced by a man with the worst wig in the history of wigmakers is something else. We have to say being a black mayor with a name like “Tony Mack” is an absolute invitation for problems.

Searching high and low across the internet all we could find on him was that he was found guilty of 6 counts of corruption one for a parking project. But what else?

Larry Langford-Birmingham, Al

In December 2008, Mayor Larry Langford, was arrested on federal bribery and fraud charges connected to a multibillion-dollar sewer bond deal that was proposed to have driven the surrounding county to the brink of bankruptcy.

Federal prosecutors in Birmingham said Langford, Montgomery investment banker Bill Blount and lobbyist Al LaPierre were charged in the 101-count indictment released Monday.

The charges also include money laundering and filing false tax returns. He is also accused of receiving $230,000 in bribes from Blount, some of them routed through LaPierre, to influence the bond deals while Langford was president of the Jefferson County Commission. Blount’s firm made $7.1 million in fees from the bond work.

Kwame Kilpatrick -Detroit

Our Lord father in heaven… does this one need any explanation?

Ray Nagin – New Orleans

In 2004, Ray Nagin’s two sons started a family business, Stone Age, LLC, with their parents’ financial backing. Stone Age, LLC, had received a contract with Home Depot after Hurricane Katrina. Stone Age, LLC, was a granite and marble business that focused primarily on the residential market.

When Stone Age registered as a home-improvement business with the state Licensing Board for Contractors the application showed that Seletha Nagin, Nagin’s wife, signed as a witness, and the document was notarized by then-City Attorney Penya Moses-Fields. Stone Age, LLC, is currently “Not In Good Standing for failure to file Annual Report” with the Louisiana Secretary of State as the company is currently inactive but eligible for reinstatement.

At a town hall meeting in October 2005, Nagin said: “I can see in your eyes, you want to know, ‘How do I take advantage of this incredible opportunity? How do I make sure New Orleans is not overrun with Mexican workers”. This was in response to a question from the audience.

Some Hispanic groups, including the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, criticized Nagin’s statement, although those attending the town hall meeting reportedly applauded – many believing jobs should first go to locals displaced by the hurricane.

Nagin went on to say this was the city’s biggest economic opportunity and urged New Orleanians to get more comfortable working besides someone who did not look like them, as everyone’s help was needed.

During a subsequent interview on Telemundo with Jose Diaz-Balart, Nagin praised the great work Hispanic workers did in New Orleans and said the city would not have recovered without them.On April 7, 2009, the Times-Picayune alleged a conflict of interest with regard to a trip Nagin took to Hawaii in 2004.

The Hawaiian vacation Mayor Ray Nagin, then-chief technology officer Greg Meffert, and their families took in 2004 was claimed to be partially paid for by Meffert, but years later it was revealed that Meffert used a contractor’s credit card to pay for Nagin’s plane ticket.

David Hammer of the Times-Picayune reported on April 23, 2009, that Nagin had taken “plenty of other trips” at the expense of NetMethods, a company owned by city vendor Mark St. Pierre.

In April 2009, Nagin was obliged “to sit for a deposition as part of a civil lawsuit over the city’s controversial crime camera program.” The Times-Picayune had obtained information that Mark St. Pierre, who allegedly paid for the holiday, had made substantial donations to Nagin’s 2006 re-election campaign.

Nagin’s Chief Technology Officer, Greg Meffert, was later charged with 63 felony counts in what authorities say “was a lucrative kickback scheme.”

All but two of the counts were subsequently dropped, and Meffert eventually plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of filing a false income tax return. In February 2012, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that Ray Nagin was the target of a federal grand jury investigation.

In June 2012, Frank Fradella who was facing major securities fraud charges, pled guilty in New Orleans federal court to one count of conspiracy to bribe a public official.

According to The Times-Picayune, Fradella claims to have paid $50,000 and delivered truckloads of free granite to Nagin’s sons’ business in exchange for favorable treatment for Fradella’s companies with city contracts.On January 18, 2013, Nagin was charged with wire fraud, conspiracy, bribery, money laundering, and filing false tax returns related to his alleged dealings with two troubled city vendors.

The 21-count federal corruption charges were issued by a grand jury. On February 20, 2013, Nagin pleaded not guilty in federal court to all charges. Despite New Orleans’ long history of political corruption, Nagin is the first mayor to be criminally charged for corruption in office.

On September 19, 2013, Nagin requested a further delay, arguing that his legal team needed time to review a report about prosecutorial misconduct that caused the convictions in the Danziger Bridge shooting case to be overturned.

Nagin’s lawyer, Robert Jenkins, claimed that many of the same personnel involved in the anonymous postings on, the Website of New Orleans’ local newspaper, The Times-Picayune, also posted racially charged statements about Nagin.

The trial began Jan. 27, 2014.[73] Nagin was convicted on 20 of the 21 counts by jury on February 12, 2014. These charges included that he had taken more than $500,000 in payouts from businessmen in exchange for millions of dollars’ worth of city contracts.

On February 12, 2014, a jury convicted Nagin on all but one of the twenty-one federal corruption counts.[5] He will be sentenced on June 11, 2014. Judge Helen Ginger Berrigan, a Bill Clinton appointee to the federal bench, ordered a pre-sentencing investigation. He could receive twenty years imprisonment and face asset forfeiture, hefty fines, and supervision on release from prison. source

Bill Campbell – Atlanta, GA

Former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, who presided over the city’s economic renaissance of the 1990s, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined more than $6,000 for tax evasion.

U.S. District Judge Richard Story praised Campbell, 53, for two decades of public service but said he could not ignore his crimes. Campbell was convicted of three counts of tax evasion.

He was cleared of charges that he lined his pockets with payoffs from a contractor but was found guilty of failing to pay taxes on what prosecutors said was illegally obtained money. Campbell said the money was gambling winnings.

Patrick Cannon – Charrolotte, NC

CHARLOTTE — The mayor of Charlotte resigned Wednesday hours after his arrest on public corruption charges. Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon is accused of accepting about $48,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen who wanted to do business in the city.

Cannon had been in office 114 days when he was arrested and charged recently..

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