MUNCIE — Two people have been indicted after the Federal Bureau of Investigation served multiple search and arrest warrants in Muncie on Tuesday morning.
Debra Nicole Grigsby, the District Administrator for the Muncie Sanitary District, and Tony Franklin, the owner of the Franklin Building and Design LLC, were both indicted Tuesday on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, making false statements and falsification of documents in a federal investigation, according to the United States Attorney's Office.
Grigsby, 44, has served as Muncie Sanitary District's District Administrator since 2013 and was responsible for approving the selection of contractors to perform work on the Muncie Sanitary District Infrastructure projects, according to the press release issued Tuesday afternoon. The indictment alleges she abused her position and agreed to steer contracts for work to Franklin in exchange for kickbacks.
"The arrests are part of a multi-year and on-going investigation by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service into the payment of kickbacks in exchange for public works projects and other corruption-related matters in Muncie," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The investigation has already resulted in multiple other federal cases.
“Public servants need to serve the public instead of serving themselves,” said US Attorney Josh Minkler. “When someone betrays the public’s trust by stealing tax dollars for personal enrichment, my office will identify, investigate and, if the evidence supports a charge, prosecute the individual who violates that sacred trust.”
“The indictment and arrest of these two individuals is one more step in an ongoing investigation to identify any and all public officials or private citizens who have committed federal crimes and victimized the tax paying citizens of Muncie, Indiana,” said Grant Mendenhall, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Division. “Investigating public officials who exploit their official position for personal gain and erode the public’s confidence in government is one of the FBI’s top criminal priorities and is the sole purpose of the Indiana Public Corruption Task Force.”
In January, Tyler's former building commissioner, Craig Nichols, was sentenced to two years in federal prison for wire fraud and money laundering.
Grigsby and Franklin both face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of all charges.