Paul Winfield, 40, former mayor of the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, pled guilty in U.S. District Court today to bribery in connection with a pre-event disaster contract for the city of Vicksburg, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen.
Winfield will be sentenced by U.S. District Senior Judge David C. Bramlette III on November 19, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. and faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In early 2012, while serving as the mayor of Vicksburg, Winfield met with a Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) source, where they discussed pre-event disaster contracts for the city of Vicksburg. On July 18, 2012, Winfield again met with the FBI source at a restaurant in Jackson. After dinner, Winfield and the FBI source met inside the source’s vehicle and the FBI source asked Winfield what would need to be done in order for the source’s company to get the pre-event disaster contract. Winfield responded “Ten” and held up ten fingers, signifying $10,000. The FBI source asked Winfield if the FBI source could pay $5,000 now and $5,000 once the contract was awarded. Winfield agreed and the FBI source paid Winfield $5,000 cash in the vehicle at that time.
On August 17, 2012, the FBI source met with Winfield in Natchez, Mississippi, where he paid Winfield an additional $2,000 in cash and asked if another $3,000 would be enough. The source then promised Winfield another $3,000 after the pre-event disaster contract was awarded. As part of his plea agreement, Winfield agreed to forfeit the bribe money he accepted and he also agreed to neither run for elected public office nor apply for or be employed by any governmental entity in the future.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst.