Former Red Bud mayor indicted

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Tim Lowry

Tim Lowry, who was mayor of Red Bud until his resignation earlier this month, was indicted Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in East. St. Louis. 

He is charged with one count of making a false statement in April 2019 to investigators with the Southern Illinois Public Corruption Task Force in connection with his insurance dealings involving the City of Columbia and its former mayor, Kevin Hutchinson. Lowry is scheduled to appear in federal court at 9:30 a.m. July 30 on the charge before Judge Mark A. Beatty.

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 B.M.C. Associates, Inc… 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.”

The count alleges that Lowry directed “payments of approximately $15,858 from the Ackermann Agency to CJ Thomas for the benefit of the Mayor of the City of Columbia from 2016 through 2018.”

Hutchinson had served as an insurance broker for the City of Red Bud for many years. His most recent contract was approved at the city council’s Nov. 2, 2020 meeting. 

That contract notes Hutchinson would be Red Bud’s “agent for purposes of securing, negotiating and procuring the placement of the following described insurance coverages and to assist the undersigned in the preparation of any and all applications, underwriting data, and other information required by an insurer for the purposes of issuing an insurance policy within this state.”

The annual contract, running from Dec. 1, 2002 to Dec. 1, 2021, noted that Hutchinson’s fee was not to exceed $4,500. Lowry said in March that Hutchinson had been serving as an insurance advisor or consultant to Red Bud prior to Lowry being elected as mayor in 2011.

On July 6, Lowry announced his intentions to resign at the Red Bud City Council meeting, citing “a pending issue I have personally which will cause me to take this action. I want to be clear that this issue has nothing to do with the City of Red Bud nor any of my actions as mayor.”

Lowry resigned effective July 19, and Susan Harbaugh was elected by the council to serve the remainder of Lowry’s term.

In March, Hutchinson resigned as mayor of Columbia and pleaded guilty to lying to a federal task force about his insurance dealings while mayor. He was sentenced on June 30 to two years of probation, 40 hours of community service and a $500 fine plus $100 special assessment.

To read the full indictment against Lowry, click here.

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