Former Red Bud mayor gets probation

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Tim Lowry

In a brisk federal court hearing Monday morning, the former mayor of Red Bud was sentenced to one year of probation and fined $1,000 for lying to a federal task force about his insurance dealings.

Tim Lowry also had to pay a $100 special assessment fee, which he paid in full along with the fine immediately after the hearing at the federal courthouse in East St. Louis.

At the hearing, Lowry attorney Stephen Williams, prosecutor Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Smith and Lowry addressed Judge Stephen McGlynn. Both parties asked for a joint sentencing recommendation of one year probation, a $1,000 fine and 40 hours of community service.

Lowry was indicted July 22 on one count of “false statement to the Federal Southern Illinois Public Corruption Task Force.”

The indictment states that “unbeknownst to the (Columbia) city council or the city manager, the Mayor of the City of Columbia (Kevin Hutchinson) and his corporation BMC Associates … received referral commissions from the insurance contracts that the City of Columbia placed through Ackermann Agency, which is Lowry’s former insurance business.

The indictment also states that “as an elected municipal official and a public officer, Tim Lowry was aware that elected public officials are prohibited from being financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract, work or business of the municipality” and that Lowry “did willfully and knowingly make, and cause to be made, materially false statements … that he did not pay the mayor of the City of Columbia in reference to the City of Columbia’s ICRMT insurance contract and that the mayor of the City of Columbia did not receive additional payments as a result.”

At the sentencing hearing, Smith explained he believed Lowry made a bad decision and was “trying to protect his friend” and himself. He said Lowry should be allowed to continue on with his insurance career. Because “the fact of the conviction in this case is tremendous punishment,” Smith did not push for more than the recommended sentence.

McGlynn decided not to impose the community service as part of Lowry’s sentence.

“You’ve probably done a lot more than 40 hours of community service voluntarily since I took your plea,” McGlynn told Lowry.

He said the “public shame” is a punishment in itself and will be the greatest deterrent to others.

“In this case, I think the greatest punishment (Lowry) will face is that public shame,” McGlynn said.

While addressing McGlynn, Williams spoke on the impact of a felony conviction on his client, who he said has a “stainless career.”
One such impact was lost business due to the “significant stigma” of the offense.

He said the six letters submitted to the judge testifying to Lowry’s character show he is a trustworthy individual.

McGlynn said he had reviewed each of these letters, one of which being from Red Bud School Superintendent Jonathan Tallman. These letters were not accessible to the public.

Lowry apologized to the court for the time and expense put into the investigation and told McGlynn “I want you to know I am not a criminal.”

Lowry’s sentence is different from what Hutchinson received in late June on the same charge. McGlynn sentenced Hutchinson to two years of probation, 40 hours of community service and a $500 fine plus special assessment.

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