Former Town Councilor Sentenced For Bribery

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MERRILLVILLE -

A U.S. District Court judge has sentenced a former Merrillville town councilor to 15 months in prison. Thomas Goralczyk pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge after being accused of accepting bribes in exchange for towing contracts.

U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch's office says between 2013 and 2014, Goralczyk accepted a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee, a 2008 Ford Focus, four camper tires and free storage for his personal motorcycle from an individual, who had been cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Goralczyk also presented false bills of sale to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles indicating he paid more for the vehicles than he actually did. 

Goralczyk admitted he accepted the bribes in exchange for his promise to use his official power as a Merrillville town councilor to obtain a towing contract for the individual's towing company. 

"Public corruption will not be tolerated at any level," said. "Public officials, like Mr. Goralczyk, elected and entrusted to do the public’s work, are required to do that work free from self-dealing and graft.  Today’s sentence sends a strong message of deterrence to others that want to engage in these activities."

Goralczyk has already forfeited $7,500 to the U.S. government as part of the case.

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