The thing that is most amazing is how comparatively little time it took for between initiation of investigation and conclusion. The bribe was solicited on December 27, 2012, and the arrests were made by the end of January 2013.
How did that happen? Simple and straightforward. An honest and courageous businessman from whom one councilcrook solicited the bribe in return for a lucrative city contract immediately reported the solicitation to the FBI and cooperated in the investigation.
Public corruption investigations often take years to complete and don’t always lead to arrest, trial, and conviction. Too frequently, otherwise honest citizens deny the existence of the corruption: “This is just a little town in northern Idaho. Nothing like that could ever happen here.” (Readers should note that the population of Forsyth, Georgia, is approximately 4,000 people.) Or they refuse to believe that someone whom they’ve known and trusted for years is a crook: “I’ve known old so-and-so for years. Played basketball with him in high school. He’d never…”). In what may be the worst case, honest citizens accept corruption and rationalize it by saying, “Well, old so-and-so does so much good in the community. He (or she) donates to all the charities. So what if he makes a little bit under the table?”
Ignoring public corruption effectively makes the victimized public an unwitting accomplice to the corruption and the protector of the corrupt.