Supreme Court sides with mayor accused of accepting a $13,000 bribe in latest ruling to limit public anti-corruption laws

By John Fritze | CNN

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with the former mayor of an Indiana city accused of accepting a bribe in exchange for a towing contract, the latest decision in which the high court has weakened federal anti-corruption laws.

James Snyder, the former mayor of Portage, Indiana, was convicted of accepting $13,000 from a trucking company weeks after it was awarded a contract. Snyder argued the payment was an after-the-fact “gratuity” that wasn’t covered by the federal bribery statute.

The ruling was 6-3 on conservative-liberal ideological lines.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in the majority opinion, said that if the appeal were accepted, it would “radically upend gratuities rules and turn (the law) into a vague and unfair trap for 19 million state and local officials.”