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updated: 3/21/2014 3:09 PM

Ex-Cook County department head sentenced for kickbacks

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Daily Herald report

The former Cook County director of public affairs and communications under former Board President Todd Stroger was sentenced to 51 months in prison.

Eugene Mullins, 50, was sentenced after being convicted in September 2013 of bribery and fraud stemming from a kickback scheme that netted him roughly $35,000.

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Prosecutors said Mullins steered county contracts valued at just under $25,000 to three Chicago businessmen and one Oak Park man and received anywhere from $12,000 to $5,000 for doing so from the men. Those four men all entered "pretrial diversion agreements" and testified against Mullins at his trial. They were given probation and ordered to pay restitution to the county.

At the time of the scheme, contracts valued at less than $25,000 only needed approval of the county purchasing agent and not the full county board. Nowadays, such contracts fall under the board's scrutiny.

Mullins will begin serving the sentence in June, prosecutors said.

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