Crime Watch 8

Former Muncie mayor pleads guilty to theft of government funds

INDIAANAPOLIS (WISH) — Former Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler on Tuesday agreed to a plea deal to be found guilty of theft of government funds.

The maximum penalty facing the former Democrat mayor is 10 years in prison followed by 10 years supervised release, plus a $250,000 fine. However, prosecutors have recommended Tyler receive a sentence on the “low end” of prison time and a fine. A judge will determine the sentence, although no court date has been set for that hearing.

Tyler was arrested in November 2019, just months before he completed eight years in office on Jan. 1. An FBI investigation of Tyler had begun in 2016.

In the plea deal, Tyler admitted to receiving $5,238 to steer Public Board of Works contracts to an unnamed company. The contracts included ones involving the Walnut Commons project, a housing development intended for people experiencing homeless and disabled veterans, and the Nebo Commons project, a site for two new car dealerships.

Tyler will also have to pay restitution to the city as part of the deal. He also would lose the right to appeal his conviction and sentence as part of the deal.

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