Former Detroit Public Library Official Sentenced for Bribery
Timothy Cromer, a former Detroit Public Library official, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.
Joining McQuade in the announcement were Special Agent in Charge Paul Abbate, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Field Office, and Jarod Koopman, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.
Cromer, 47, of West Bloomfield, the library’s Chief Administrative and Technology Officer from 2006 to 2013, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh. Cromer was charged with taking more than $1.4 million in bribes and kickbacks from contractors of the library. According to the indictment, Cromer helped co-defendant James Henley create a business in 2007 called Core Consulting & Professional Services, and then arranged for Core to win a bid to provide information technology services to the library. The contract, along with various change orders and extensions that Cromer approved, caused the library to pay Core $1.8 million.
Cromer was also charged with receiving kickbacks from Ricardo Hearn, who is also charged in the indictment. Cromer was charged with approving no-bid professional services contracts for Hearn’s company, Cubemation, LLC, to perform information technology services for the library from 2008 until 2010. According to the indictment, Cubemation received about $2.8 million in payments from the Detroit Public Library. In total, Cromer is alleged to have accepted more than $1.4 million in kickbacks from Henley and Hearn.
Through his plea, Cromer admitted that he received a bribe from Henley, and that he conspired with Hearn to commit bribery. Codefendants Henley and Hearn previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, and will be sentenced on October 28, 2014. United States Attorney McQuade said, “Our public libraries exist to enrich our citizens, not to generate profits for the officials who work there. Today’s sentence protects the important interests of taxpayers, library patrons and the honest public servants who have dedicated themselves to the Detroit Public Library.”
“As a government official, Mr. Cromer abused his position of trust and stole from the community,” stated Paul Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Detroit Field Office. “Today’s sentencing reflects the resolve of law enforcement to continue the fight on behalf of our citizens, and bring those who violate their public oath to justice.”
“The sizeable amount of the kickbacks Cromer received represents the degree to which he was cheating the public,” said IRS Acting Special Agent in Charge Jarod Koopman. “It is unacceptable to help yourself to public funds, but if you do IRS-Criminal Investigation will be there to seek justice on behalf of the citizens of Detroit.”
The case was investigated by agents of the FBI and the IRS. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth A. Stafford and Julie Beck.