Former Columbia, Ill., Mayor Kevin Hutchinson, was sentenced on Monday to two years’ probation, a $500 fine, and 40 hours of community service for lying to federal investigators about referral commissions he received on city contracts.
Hutchinson, 56, had been charged with one count of making a false statement to the federal Southern Illinois Public Corruption Task Force, also referred to as the Metro-East Public Corruption Task Force. He resigned as mayor of the Monroe County town after his indictment by a federal grand jury in February. Hutchinson pleaded guilty to the charge in March.
The federal indictment described Hutchinson as a licensed insurance agent who owned a closely held Illinois corporation called BMC Associates Inc. Unbeknownst to the City Council or the city manager, Hutchinson and his corporation received referral commissions from certain insurance contracts the city of Columbia placed with two other companies.
Under the Illinois Public Officer Prohibited Activities law, Hutchinson was prohibited from having a personal financial interest (direct or indirect) in any contract, work, or business of the municipality. Hutchinson failed to disclose his referral commissions on an annual ethics form filed with the county clerk in 2018. The following year, when questioned by an FBI agent and a federal task force officer, he falsely reported that he had no personal financial interest in the city’s insurance contract with one of the two companies.
FBI-Springfield investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman R. Smith prosecuted the case