City of Adelanto Mayor Pro-Tem Jermaine Wright has been arrested on bribery charges stemming from a cannabis ordinance the city expanded in December 2016. He allegedly received payments through a third-party to pass a cannabis ordinance and another to burn down his restaurant. The Foxx Firm wrote the cannabis ordinance where former Hawthorne Mayor Chris Brown is listed as the company’s Chief Political Officer whose duties include drafting city ordinances.
The former mayor has been featured in several publications, Black Enterprise and Forbes touting the success of the firm’s helping draft the Adelanto ordinance, which would serve as a guide for other cities to replicate. Lynwood and Long Beach have also recently passed cannabis ordinances that aim to keep minorities out of the market with exorbitant application fees.
The criminal complaint against Wright outlines two schemes. In the first, Wright allegedly
solicited and accepted a $10,000 bribe from an undercover FBI agent who told Wright
he wanted the councilmember’s assistance in navigating city rezoning and code
enforcement issues related to a supposed marijuana transportation business.
The informant wanted to open a business outside of the current zoning and after accepting the bribe, the city of Adelanto expanded the cannabis zone. So why was Wright the only councilmember arrested?
In the second scheme, Wright allegedly paid $1,500 to another undercover FBI
agent to burn down his restaurant.
In related news, former congressional aide Michael Kimbrew is due in court on federal bribery charges in February 2018. He took payments in order to keep unlicensed cannabis (marijuana) shops open in the city of Compton. Kimbrew boldly did some of his dealings inside of Compton City Hall.
Who’s next? Read the full indictment on Jermaine Wrght below.