Ex-Columbia, IL Mayor Accused of Lying About Insurance Commission Payments

Ex-Columbia, IL Mayor Accused of Lying About Insurance Commission Payments

A former mayor in Southern Illinois is accused of lying to investigators over insurance commission payments.

A grand jury indicted Tim Lowry to one count of giving false statements to the Southern Illinois Corruption Task Force. in April 2019. It stems from business handlings with the former mayor of Columbia Kevin Hutchinson.

According to the indictment, Lowry owned an insurance company while in office called Ackermann Agency. At the time, Hutchinson and his corporation B.M.C. Associates, Inc, would get referral commissions from insurance contracts.

Court documents said Hutchinson also recommended to the City Council the city’s casualty loss and workers compensation insurance be placed through Lowry and his agency.

Under the Illinois Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act elected officials “cannot be financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract, work or business of the municipality.”

The Southern Illinois Corruption Task Force consisted of agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigations, and a task force officer with the Illinois State Police. The group opened an investigation into Hutchinson and whether or not his actions were illegal. According to the court documents, that’s when investigators interviewed Lowry and he made false statements.

Overall, Lowry directed payments of about $15,854 from the Ackermann Agency to CJ Thomas for the benefit of Hutchinson from 2016 through 2018, which was 40% of the commissions for the ICRMT insurance policy with the City of Columbia.

Lowry is scheduled to be in federal court next week on July 30, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. in East St. Louis.

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