Columbia, Ill. mayor accused of lying about company’s business dealings with the city

Illinois

COLUMBIA, Ill. – The mayor of Columbia, Illinois was indicted in federal court Wednesday for allegedly lying to anti-corruption investigators about his business dealings with the city.

According to the indictment, Mayor Kevin Hutchinson “received referral commissions for city insurance policies” in dealings between his company, BMC Associates, and MRCT.

Hutchinson, a licensed insurance agent, was prohibited from any financial involvement—be it direct or indirect—with the city.

The Metro-East Public Corruption Task Force, comprised of IRS investigators, FBI agents, Illinois State Police officers, opened a case to examine Hutchinson’s possible involvement in contracts with the city dating back to 2018.

The federal indictment alleges Hutchinson met with members of the task force in March 2019 and lied about his involvement, saying at the time his only interest in MRCT was in his capacity as mayor and not as an insurance agent.

Hutchinson was charged with one count of making a false statement to federal investigators.

The Columbia City Council released a statement Thursday, saying it is cooperating with the investigation.

The Columbia City Council was notified by the U.S. District Court of Southern Illinois that City of Columbia Mayor Kevin Hutchinson has been charged with one count of making a false statement to the Federal Metro-East Public Corruption Task Force.  Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

The City Council is dedicated to the citizens of the City of Columbia and will not allow this to detract from their service to the residents.

At all times, the City has cooperated with, and will continue to cooperate with the investigation.

Columbia City Council

Meanwhile, Hutchinson has previously said he would not seek another term in office.

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