Former Bettendorf City Employee Indicted In Bribery Case - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Former Bettendorf City Employee Indicted In Bribery Case

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     New information on a bribery investigation involving a former Bettendorf city employee.  It's a story KWQC has been following since 2010 and charges are now coming from a 13-count indictment.

     They are charges of conspiracy and bribery listed in the indictment for Robert Webster, former city of Bettendorf electrician. All of this stems from a relationship with Brown Traffic Products in Davenport and gifts he allegedly received which court documents show are far more than what's allowed for a government employee.

     Federal prosecutors are calling this case a longstanding bribery scheme. Two executives with Brown Traffic have already pleaded guilty after admitting to conspiring to give gifts to then city electrician Robert Webster in return for business. Webster was in charge of traffic control purchases for the city of Bettendorf. He retired in 2010.     

     Retired Brown Traffic official Robert Budd Jr. is also part of this indictment. He and other employees allegedly gave money, numerous vacations, and event tickets to influence Webster. Gifts covered expenses for visits to places like Florida, Texas, and Nevada and there were tickets to race car events and other forms of entertainment. Court documents show brown traffic company received nearly $2 million in business from Bettendorf between 2004 and 2011 for supplying traffic poles, lights and other goods.

     The investigation started in 2010 with two FBI raids. One was at the Brown Traffic building in Davenport and the other, seizing a computer and financial records where Webster worked. City officials launched an internal investigation of their own soon after. A month later, officials told KWQC nothing had been found, but today would not comment except saying there's continued cooperation with the FBI.

    As for Brown Traffic, company officials in a statement said the company is not facing charges in connection with the alleged conspiracy and that "no one involved in the matters alleged in the charges remains employed by Brown."

    That includes Robert Budd Jr. who pleaded not guilty.  Webster has yet to make a court appearance.

    The former CEO and former Vice President at Brown Traffic have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with investigators.